Nine West’s Easy Spirit In Review

The Nine West Group is conducting an agency review for the $15-20 million ad account of its Easy Spirit women’s footwear brand.
Duties on the account are currently split, with Lotas Minard Patton McIver in New York on creative and Media That Works in Cincinnati as the media planner and buyer.
Peter Huffine, vice president of marketing for Easy Spirit, said he was “looking for more of a full-service agency” at which to consolidate the account, but he did not rule out keeping the current division of labor.
The company is considering a half-dozen shops, including Lotas Minard and MTW. Huffine declined to identify the others. Shop principal Judy Lotas said her agency has not yet decided whether it will participate. Officials at MTW, which has worked on the account for more than eight years, said they will defend the business.
“Obviously, creative is going to be the critical factor here. We’re a national advertiser,” Huffine said. The client plans to pare its list to three in April and make a decision in early May.
Based in White Plains, N.Y., Nine West acquired Easy Spirit in 1996. Easy Spirit shoes are divided into three lines: dress and casual, the fashionable SPA and fitness. The prevailing agency will handle all three. Huffine said print, broadcast, interactive and point-of-sale work would all be required.
Last year, between January and November, Nine West spent $16 million advertising Easy Spirit, according to Competitive Media Reporting. In 1996, the total was $18 million.
A 1997 TV spot for Easy Spirit’s Anti Gravity fitness shoe from Lotas Minard featured women running and jumping rope. The tag: “Never come down.” –with Sloane Lucas