Wrangler Review Invitations Are in the Mail

Jeans Maker Stresses Geography, Apparel Experience in Search
ATLANTA-After sifting through “too many” agency pitch packages for two months, marketing officials at Wrangler Jeans mailed their request for proposal to approximately 35 shops last week for the creative portion of the company’s advertising account.
The $29 million account (per Competitive Media Reporting’s latest figures) had been at The Martin Agency, Richmond, Va., for the last 10 years. In April, the agency and client issued a joint statement saying they were splitting over differences in the creative direction of the various Wrangler brands.
Martin will continue to handle the client’s media until further notice.
Wrangler marketing official Mark Clift, while declining to identify which agencies would receive a query from his company, said that geography would play a role in the agency selection. Wrangler is based in Greensboro, N.C.
“That would make sense from a logistical standpoint,” he said. “But we’re also open to agencies further away that have offices closer to us.
“We want someone who can really be involved with our creative team. We think we have a definite image and tonality and feel [to Wrangler’s marketing message], and we want someone who can make it better.”
Another factor that might help an agency make the jeans company’s long list is previous experience in the clothing business.
“We want someone who understands the passions and aspirational nature of apparel,” Clift said.
The company will give shops about two weeks to respond to its questionnaire. From there, Wrangler officials would like to pare the list to three to five contenders, which would be given a strategic assignment.
Clift said it was possible that one more cut would happen after that, but company officials hope to avoid that and name a new agency by the end of the summer.
“During the third quarter we want to have the agency in place,” he said. “We have a number of initiatives for the year 2000 that we’re sitting on [pending the selection of a new agency].”
Clift added that media may stay with Martin, especially if the creative account goes to one of the smaller shops being asked to participate.
“I’d rather not have to review the media,” Clift said.