Levi’s Talks With More Agencies

New additions to the list of agencies contacted by Levi & Strauss & Co. in the review of its estimated $90 million Levi’s brand account include Lowe & Partners/ SAS and Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, sources said.
Both shops are expected to use their New York and newly established San Francisco offices to pitch the business if they make the short list.
Odiorne Wilde Narraway & Partners in San Francisco was contacted but later deemed by the client to be too small to handle the account, sources said. TBWA Chiat/Day executives in Venice, Calif., said they had not been contacted by the client, but were trying to get in the review. It was unknown whether another likely contender, Ogilvy & Mather, New York, had been contacted.
Among the shops to which the client has now talked are incumbent Foote, Cone & Belding, San Francisco; Levi’s international agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty, London; Hal Riney & Partners, San Francisco; BBDO West in Los Angeles and New York; and Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG in New York.
“We would like to . . . avoid speculation,” said Levi’s representative Amy Rosenthal. She said that a short list is likely at “the end of this month.”
A winner is expected by February.
Nike’s lead agency, Wieden & Kennedy, was one of the first shops contacted by Levi’s, sources said. Executives at the Portland, Ore.-based shop declined comment (see story above).
Levi’s announced last week that it was closing 11 of its U.S. facilities next year, which will reduce its U.S. and Canadian workforce by 34 percent. The closures are a direct result of the company’s lagging jeans sales in the U.S.
“The closures will have no effect on the review, the list of agencies we create, our marketing budget or the way we market jeans in America,” Rosenthal said.