REI Picks BBDO, Prometheus

LOS ANGELES Omnicom Group’s BBDO in Atlanta and Prometheus Media in Chicago have won REI’s $20 million creative and media buying and planning duties, respectively, following a review, the company confirmed.

The first work, a combination of radio, newspaper, outdoor and online, is expected to break in March 2008.

“BBDO and Prometheus have an authentic passion for the outdoors and REI’s brand,” said Tom Vogl, client vp of marketing, in a statement. (The ex-Dell executive joined REI in August.) “The agencies will be valued partners as we work to grow our business and increase participation levels in outdoor recreation.”

“They have a great business opportunity in front of them,” said Chris Hall, president and CEO of BBDO Atlanta. “As a brand and as a business REI doesn’t see boundaries.”

The incumbent since 2002, Seattle independent Copacino + Fujikado, introduced the current “Out is in” tagline last year. “It’s a familiar story in advertising: the new CMO wants a new agency,” said Jim Copacino, agency co-founder. “We had a great five-year run with REI and we appreciate the opportunity to work with them. The results during our tenure were outstanding in terms of ad awareness, recall, traffic and numbers. We wish them a lot of luck in the future.”

Other review contenders were not disclosed.

Privately held REI operates 97 stores in 27 states and uses a “membership” system at its retail locations, for which the company claims more than 3 million members.

Kent, Wash.-based REI spent $20 million last year in domestic measured media and $15 million through October 2007, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.