Hush Puppies Walk From Bozell

Bozell Worldwide and Wolverine World Wide parted ways last week, ending a six-year relationship that included award-winning work by the agency for the shoe company’s Hush Puppies brand.
Rockford, Mich.-based Wolverine last week hired Arnold Communications, Boston, to create a global image campaign in 1999. Billings on the assignment were estimated by sources at $2-3 million domestically, with an additional $2 million to be spent overseas.
Rob Elliott, Bozell managing partner heading all non-Chrysler business at the Southfield, Mich., agency, said Bozell and Wolverine had “philosophical differences” about the future direction of the brand. “We are proud of the award-winning creative we produced for the Hush Puppies brand, but we have reached the point in the relationship where it would be best for both parties to move on,” he said.
Bozell representative Eileen Wunderlich said the account “has had minimum activity lately, so there will be very little financial impact.” No layoffs are planned, she added.
Hush Puppies marketing vice president Jeff Lewis described Bozell’s work as “good.” Bozell introduced the brand’s “We invented casual” tagline in 1995, and this year won a national Addy for a campaign that included the company’s first TV spots in 10 years. “[The campaign] was on trend from a style standpoint. … We needed [an agency] to define the brand,” Lewis said.
Arnold was selected without a formal review. Instead, Wolverine executives including Lewis looked at advertising they felt best capitalized on a brand’s heritage while being current and driving sales. They agreed on two: The Gap, which creates its ads in-house, and Volkswagen of America, which works with Arnold.
A new campaign is due in December.