We Hear: 3 Agencies in the Final Stages of L.L. Bean Pitch

By Erik Oster 

Last month, we learned that L.L. Bean had parted ways with IPG agency Erwin Penland, which won the account away from GSD&M in a review that ended in October of 2014.

At the time it was unclear whether the client was seeking a new agency as they never responded to our emails—but we can now confirm that the account is in review. Multiple parties have informed us that Droga5 and The VIA Agency (which is based in the client’s hometown of Portland, Maine) have already pitched, that a third shop may be involved and that the client will make its decision soon.

We reached out to L.L. Bean for comment but have yet to receive a response. A Droga5 spokesperson declined to comment, and a VIA rep hasn’t yet responded.


L.L. Bean CMO/SVP Steve Fuller left the company last summer after 24 years and still doesn’t appear to have a replacement.

The brand recently faced an unwelcome PR situation when then president-elect Trump tweeted a pseudo-endorsement following an appearance by Linda Bean (granddaughter of the company’s founder, Leon Leonwood Bean) on Fox & Friends, which seems to be his favorite morning show. On the program, Bean claimed she was “bullied” for supporting a pro-Trump political action committee.

L.L. Bean executive chairman Shawn Gorman responded to a subsequent boycott campaign against the brand by Grab Your Wallet with a Facebook statement distancing the brand from Bean’s statement and actions. He said that her statements represented only “the political views of a single member of our 10-person board of directors” and that “no individual alone speaks on behalf of the business or represents the values of the company that L.L. built.”

According to Kantar Media, L.L. Bean spent around $16.3 million in the first nine months of 2016.

So is Droga5 involved in every current review, or is that just us?