Publicis Gets to ‘Reinvent’ Champion, Just My Size

The recent wins of two Sara Lee brands, estimated to total $20 million, strengthen Publicis in Mid America’s relationship with a key client and broaden its expertise in a new category, the agency said.

Publicis was one of six Sara Lee roster shops visited jointly by marketing teams from Champion Products and Just My Size, which were conducting separate reviews, sources said. The clients also visited Grey and Kraftworks, both in New York, Euro RSCG Tatham Partners and Bcom3’s Leo Burnett, both of Chicago, and IPG’s Temerlin Mc-Clain in Irving, Texas, sources said.

Temerlin was the incumbent on the Just My Size account. Mullen in Winston-Salem, N.C., which handled the Champion business but did not participate in the review, recently said that account had been inactive for nearly a year.

Winston-Salem-based Sara Lee looks to “do something a little different with these brands,” said client representative Peggy Carter, who would not be more specific. The client is expected to increase spending significantly. Champion and Just My Size spent $3 million and $7 million, respectively, on 2001 advertising, per CMR.

Sara Lee first gave the Dallas shop additional business in January—an estimated $15 million—when it consolidated the account of its bakery division.

“Sara Lee is an important client for us in terms of growth,” said shop chairman and CEO Steve Price. “And the opportunity to get assignments in the apparel and fashion category will broaden our versatility.”

Price said the agency was able to leverage its insight of the brands’ target audiences from the research it conducted for fitness chain Curves For Women, a $15 million account it won in June, and from its experience working on PowerBar’s business.

With the Sara Lee vic-tories—and other recent wins like the $50 million account of beleaguered Denny’s—Publicis is positioning it-self as “reinvention experts.”

“We’ve had a lot of success giving businesses a new positioning or freshening an approach,” said agency president and general manager Mark Bateman.