Russell Has A Playlist

Russell Athletic, a division of Russell Corp., is in the early stages of a review for its estimated $5 million-plus advertising account, formerly with BBDO in New York.
Russell director of advertising John Lee said last week that the company had contacted 12 undisclosed agencies, asking them to submit basic credentials. From that list, the client will designate three or four shops to make final presentations. The company plans to name an agency by the end of this year.
After Russell and BBDO parted ways in late 1996, the client moved its advertising in-house. Two shops with other aspects of Russell’s business–Fitzgerald & Co. in Atlanta and GodwinGroup in Jackson, Miss.–handled work on a project basis.
It is not known if those two agencies were included on the list of 12 shops the company invited to pitch its account this time around.
The agency that wins the business will be dealing with a much different company than the one that worked with BBDO. Russell hired a new chairman, president and chief executive officer, Jack Ward, in April. In July Ward said the company had begun a multiyear restructuring plan to in-crease its profitability.
The plan includes closing more than one-quarter of the firm’s global facilities in the next three years, consolidating its licensed products business and establishing a dual headquarters in Atlanta. Russell is currently based in Alexander City, Ala.
At the time the account was at BBDO, billings amounted to approximately $5 million. According to the client, a 1999 budget is being determined within the company.