TBWA/C/D, Van Heusen Split

Shop Was Unhappy With Small Ad Outlays
NEW YORK–TBWA/Chiat/Day and apparel company Phillips-Van Heusen have mutually agreed to part ways, setting up a possible agency search for the estimated $15 million account.
The agency and client, both here,
recently agreed to terminate their relationship after less than two years, sources said. TBWA/Chiat/Day is expected to continue handling creative and media duties through year’s end.
The client’s shrunken ad budget led to the breakup, sources said. Although the agency expected the client to spend from $30-40 million, Phillips-Van Heusen spent $13 million in 1997 and less than $1 million through July of this year. Clients typically curtail ad spending when an agency relationship is ending, however.
Mary Maroun, managing director of the agency’s New York office who oversaw the account, declined comment. Phillips-Van Heusen executives could not be reached.
The $1.4 billion apparel company’s Van Heusen is the leading dress shirt brand in the U.S. Casualwear accounts for about 80 percent of sales, according to industry reports.
The account includes creative duties on four main brands: Van Heusen shirts, Bass shoes and Izod and Gant apparel. TBWA/Chiat/Day won the business after a review in March 1997. Before then, the client used a variety of creative and media resources.
TBWA/Chiat/Day’s New York office has been on a winning streak, adding $75 million in billings from Barnes & Noble and Promus Hotel Corp., among others. The agency is also not shy about splitting with clients, resigning the $40 million America Online account last year.