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Gap Goes for New Rap — Store Shops Indie Agencies for TV Push By Kathy Tyrer and Shelly Garci

Gap Inc. last week quietly began contacting ad agencies with an invitation to pitch its account.

Wieden & Kennedy/Portland, Ore. and Heater Easdon Advertising, the fledgling shop formed by Bill Heater and Don Easdon in Milltown, Mass., are believed to be among the agencies sources said.
The San Francisco-based retailer, which tried unsuccessfully to launch a television campaign produced in-house last year, is believed to be looking for an outside shop to handle that aspect of its advertising. Last year the Gap spent $31.2 million in media, according to LNA.
It’s likely that as the retailer, with sales of about $2.5 billion, has expanded its product lines and its advertising, including GapKids, the resources of its in-house staff have become strained.
At the same time, some sources believe that the Gap’s in-house shop, under the longtime direction of creative director Maggie Gross, has been unable to revise its image in a way that reflects the new values of the ’90s or the changes in its product assortment. Recently, the retailer has branched out from its basic denim apparel assortment, but the advertising hasn’t kept pace, this source said.
The Gap went to an outside shop for a brief time in 1991 when it awarded a television assignment to San Francisco shop Citron Haligman & Bedecarre (then called Atlas Citron Haligman & Bedecarre) in 1991. That shop’s ‘For every generation, there’s a Gap’ campaign, directed by Joe Pytka, was later replaced by a series of commercials featuring cult poet Max Blagg. But the in-house-produced Blagg spots, which were supported with some $12 million in media, according to published reports, were deemed a failure by Gap president Mickey Drexler. The firm pulled them and completed the 1992 fourth-quarter selling season with the CHB spots.
Since then, the company has run no television campaign.
Gap executives declined comment at press time. Agency executives could not be reached.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)

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