Split Shift for Crispin

Crispin Porter & Bogusky has picked up print assignments for Schwinn Bicycles in what one source said is the first step in acquiring the creative account from Carmichael Lynch.
Gregg Bagni, Schwinn’s senior vice president of marketing who confirmed Crispin was working with the Boulder, Colo., company, said, “We’re pleased with both agencies.” He denied that the creative account would move to the Miami shop.
Bagni said he was “very happy” with the repositioning campaign Crispin did for GT Bicycles, a built-for-speed bike maker in Santa Anna, Calif., that was purchased by Schwinn in October 1998. Crispin was named agency of record in January for the $1 million account. A subsequent print campaign has established the brand as fast and appealing to youth.
The marketing executive said he participated in the agency search for GT, which had handled its advertising internally, and was involved in Schwinn’s decision to hire Crispin.
While Competitive Media Reporting lists Schwinn’s total expenditures at $37.3 million in 1998, bicycle ad spending was $1.3 million; $400,000 through June 1999.
“The GT ads were funny . . . [but] Schwinn is about escape and freedom,” Bagni said. “We’re constantly looking for new ways . . . to look at biking from a fun standpoint.”
Last Thursday Crispin would not comment about Schwinn’s creative account, referring calls to the client. On Friday, the agency was closed because of Hurricane Irene storm warnings.
Carmichael Lynch did not return phone calls by press time. The Minneapolis agency will retain the media component of Schwinn’s account, sources said.