Wrangler Cuts to Fit

Wrangler Jeans is still culling responses to its request for proposal to find a new creative shop to replace The Martin Agency of Richmond, Va., but expects to have a short list for its $29 million business by the end of the month.
“We are making good progress . . . but I don’t think we’ll have a cut for another week to 10 days,” said Marc Clift, general manager of marketing for the Greensboro, N.C., apparel maker. “I’ve seen all of the reels and work and I know what I think. But there are about 10 other people who need to have some input on this, and they haven’t completely finished looking at all the work.”
Wrangler initially sent out questionnaires to 35 agencies, but “there were about 10 that we knew were no go from the beginning, so it ultimately was about 25 that we’ve been seriously looking at,” Clift said. “There will ultimately be a cut down to as many as 10 agencies, but more likely five or six. We want to make the number manageable enough so we can go visit these people.”
The Richmond, Va., incumbent issued a joint statement with the client in April, citing differences over the creative direction of various Wrangler brands.
“It was a matter of [Wrangler wanting] a little more creative collaboration,” said Clift last week. “We like to be involved as a group with the strategy and the creative, which is not something that agencies like to get a lot of input about.”
Clift said Wrangler’s marketing department had been split into two divisions–western wear and mass market–and it was possible two agencies would be hired. The client executive also said whether Martin would retain media buys was “still up in the air,” and that going through the volume of responses made for an exhausting and mind-numbing task.
“Look, you know how this is . . . you watch 20 of these in a day, and by the eighth reel, you can’t even remember which shop did which ad and you have to go back and check them out again,” he noted.