K-Swiss Taps Toth

BOSTON K-Swiss had tapped Toth Brand Imaging, a shop well schooled in footwear and apparel from its experience on Tommy Hilfiger and Keds, as its lead advertising agency.

Following a review, Toth in Cambridge, Mass., succeeds the Gale Group in New York on the K-Swiss ad account, though the latter continues to hande public relations chores. Both agencies are independently owned.

K-Swiss spent $12 million in U.S. measured media in the first three quarters of 2007 after spending $20 million through all of last year, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. In 2005, K-Swiss spent $30 million on ads.

PGR Media in Boston, which frequently partners with Toth, adds media buying for K-Swiss.

An integrated campaign featuring broadcast, print, outdoor and online elements is on tap. The work breaks in March. It will seek to help the brand recapture its sports roots while remaining relevant and stylish from a consumer perspective.

“Blending performance sport and fashion lifestyle will be a unique representation of the evolved K Swiss brand,” said Toth director of business development Bob Fouhy.

K-Swiss has struggled of late. It suffered a Q3 earnings drop to $12.8 million on $107 million in revenue compared to earnings of $21 million on $133 million in revenue for the same period a year ago.

The company recently vowed that changes in products, design and a star-studded marketing push, which Toth will engineer, would spur a turnaround.

Two Swiss brothers seeking to develop the perfect tennis shoe founded K-Swiss in 1966. Today, the company is based in Westlake Village, Calif., and has expanded beyond its tennis heritage into running and sailing footwear and apparel.