Adidas Narrows to 2 Agency Pairs

SAN FRANCISCO–Two agency teams remain in the contest for the $80-100 million global Adidas ad account, sources said last week.

Roster shops Leagas Delaney in London and 180 in Amsterdam, Netherlands, each have partnered with a global network to pitch the business.

Leagas is teaming up with DDB Worldwide, and 180 has selected another Omnicom agency, TBWA Worldwide, sources said.

Several DDB offices are said to be working with Leagas, including those in Paris and Chicago, where U.S. creative chief Bob Scarpelli is based.

TBWA\Chiat\Day’s Playa del Rey, Calif., office will play a leading role with 180, sources said, since it?s the home base of Lee Clow, TBWA?s worldwide creative chief.
Neither DDB nor TBWA\C\D would comment.

Sources said Adidas, which currently works with 20 shops, is looking for a more consolidated and affordable solution.

Neil Simpson, Adidas’ Amsterdam-based global director of advertising, is a key player in the review, sources said. Simpson reports to lead decision maker Erich Stamminger, board member and head of global marketing at the Adidas-Salomon corporate headquarters in Herzogenaurach, Germany.

The Dutch consultancy Positionerings Groep, which gathered credentials information from 10 agency networks and presented the information to Adidas, is no longer involved, according to sources.

Other agencies that answered an RFP issued by the consultancy have been informed they did not advance. They include Young & Rubicam, Lowe Lintas & Partners, Leo Burnett and McCann-Erickson. One source said the incumbents might have considered those shops as partners before settling on DDB and TBWA.

The RFP, which did not identify the client, asked about creative reputation, integrated services, youth-marketing capabilities, and presence in European, Asian and U.S. markets. It was said to be for a global brand based in Europe with a “youth” target and a stronger market position in Europe than the U.S.

Carat handles global media duties for Adidas; the U.S. portion shifted from Leagas in the summer. Leagas? San Francisco office continues to handle the Adidas Golf and Adidas Latin America accounts. Other U.S. roster shops include Red Button, Portland, Ore., and Burrell Communications, Chicago.