Levi’s Set To Announce Shops Invited To Review

Levi Strauss & Co. this week will reveal the agencies invited to participate in its estimated $87 million U.S. corporate image account review, according to sources at Levi’s.
The list is expected to include incumbent Foote, Cone & Belding here and Levi’s international agency, Bartle Bogle Hegarty, London.
Sources said the client is also considering inviting U.S. shops with conflicts. Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco; and Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore., which both work on Nike, reportedly top the list of invitees. Fallon McElligott, Minneapolis, the lead agency for Lee Jeans, is also expected to be invited, sources said.
Other candidates include Hal Riney & Partners here; BBDO and Ogilvy & Mather, both in New York; and TBWA Chiat/Day in Venice, Calif., sources said.
Steve Goldstein, vice president, marketing and research at Levi’s brand USA in San Francisco, would only confirm the invitation of FCB.
The last two years have seen the relationship between Levi’s and FCB deteriorate. Levi’s has moved various assignments to other Bay Area shops. Observers also saw trouble when Paul Wolfe was named FCB’s executive creative director about two years ago and only a portion of his time was devoted to overseeing Levi’s. Sources said his relationship with the client has been volatile in the last year.
Sources said the client has “not been pleased” with the shop’s “They go on” campaign. Levi’s brand USA president Tom Fanoe, however, said, in a memo last week to Levi’s staff, “It’s too early to judge . . . [but] we’re pleased with the initial results.”
–with Sloane Lucas