NEW YORK-Three undisclosed agencies have been selected by Vagabond USA, a Swedish junior fashion shoe marketer, as contenders in a review for its advertising account.
Shops that have been contacted or have met with the client include DiNoto Lee, Fallon McElligott Berlin, Mad Dogs & Englishmen and DeVito/Verdi, all in New York.
The client, which describes itself as similar to "Steve Madden but with a broader assortment, especially in athletic shoe wear," is looking for an agency to "communicate the soul and core of the brand" to U.S. consumers, sources said. The winning agency's exact duties have not yet been finalized, said Anna Fahle, divisional manager for the client, but print work and point-of-sale efforts would likely be components.
Billings are undisclosed, but one source estimated the Westport, Conn.-based company's ad account at $2 million.
There is no incumbent agency-the client's U.S. office has only been open a year. Several Swedish shops handle ad duties abroad.
Vagabond has about 40 percent of the shoe market in Sweden, and has distribution throughout Scandinavia and Northern Europe, Fahle said. Vagabond ships annually more than 1 million pairs of shoes worldwide.
Ashley Schapiro, president of shoe manufacturer and wholesaler Trezetta (USA), Westport, Conn., is acting as an external or independent sales and marketing manager for the client. He said that the review is closed and that a final decision would be made in six weeks. He also said the Swedish company's president, Mats Nillsen, would attend the agencies' presentations and be involved in the decision-making process.
In the early 1990s, Schapiro ran Freetime Shoes, which licensed the Vagabond name. Freetime has since closed and "the license has been transferred back to the mother company," he said. -with Jennifer Comiteau