Levi’s Hires OMD After Zenith Talks Fail

Levi Strauss has awarded media buying and planning on its namesake and Docker’s brands to Omnicom Group’s OMD after failing to come to terms with Publicis Groupe’s Zenith Media on a contract.

The client confirmed hiring OMD following a review, but would not address the Zenith situation. IPG’s Initiative, the buying incumbent, was the other finalist.

Sources said Zenith and Levi’s held several negotiating sessions, but it was unclear why no accord was reached.

The client spent $70 million on U.S. ads in 2007 (not including online), according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Up to now, planning had been split between Interpublic Group’s Draftfcb (Dockers) and Publicis-backed Bartle Bogle Hegarty (Levi’s).

BBH also has been Levi’s lead creative agency in the Americas, though the company called a creative review for that region earlier this month, and BBH indicated it would not defend. The shop continues to work on creative chores for apparel maker in Europe and Asia.

Last month, OMD picked up media chores for McAfee in a joint effort with siblings Tribal and DDB, and successfully defended its Henkel assignment.