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Coach Picks UM as Media Agency of Record

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Coach, the 76-year-old fashion brand in the midst of a brand overhaul, has chosen UM as its global media agency of record.

Daryl Lee
Daryl Lee Credit: UM

UM, part of IPG Mediabrands, will handle media buying and planning services for Coach for markets across North America and Asia, following an account review that began last year. Coach declined to name its prior media agency but it's believed OMD handled the brand at least in the U.S.

"We are excited to see the media integration and creativity that they can bring in support of our global brand transformation," Coach Chief Marketing Officer Carlos Becil said in a statement.

Coach, traditionally known as a handbag maker, has tried to reinvent itself as a full lifestyle label in recent years after struggling with declining sales.

Coach "is on its own journey of transformation — it's building back fashion credibility, it's building back excitement and innovation into the brand, and that is something that we ourselves have done as a brand," said Daryl Lee, global CEO of UM. Lee said UM itself has "rearchitected" itself around data in the past five years.

Coach bought shoe maker Stuart Weitzman in 2015, and has reportedly been in talks to buy Kate Spade.

"Coach is basically looking to make itself a luxury and fashion house of brands," Lee said. "That's one of the reasons we're so excited to work with them, is to help them really find the right consumer for each of their brands as they're beginning to evolve and grow their portfolio."

Coach spent $202 million on advertising expenses in fiscal year 2016, according to financial reports. The company reported increased spending for advertising, marketing and design costs in fiscal year 2016, which it attributed to Stuart Weitzman and higher costs for Coach brand marketing and advertising-related events, including its first New York Fashion Week show.

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