While Toth Design & Advertising braces for the loss of its largest account, PGR Media last week said it expects within days to finalize a contract for the media buying and planning account of Tommy Hilfiger.
The New York-based client is conducting a review for its estimated $30 million creative account, handled for the last seven years by Toth in Concord, Mass. Sources said the review is down to two finalists: Deutsch and Cliff Freeman and Partners, both in New York. Hilfiger executives could not be reached for comment by press time.
PGR in Providence, R.I., recently concluded negotiations to buy a 30-second spot during the Super Bowl for the launch of Hilfiger athletics, according to PGR principal Pattie Garrahy.
Creative chores for the launch of that product line, in development at Toth, have been given to Deutsch, sources said.
Toth founder Michael Toth ascribed the current review to the arrival last spring of Peter Connolly as senior vice president of marketing at Hilfiger. "With the change in leadership and direction, it's only reasonable that Peter would want his own team," Toth said, adding that his agency's current contract with the client runs through March. "We built a huge success with Hilfiger, and we'll move forward by looking for other opportunities."
Of Toth's 63 employees in Concord and New York, at least 42 are devoted to Hilfiger, he said. Toth's other accounts include Swatch, Coach and Union Bay. "I built the building," Toth said of Hilfiger. "I can't now wash windows or sweep floors."