Online Exclusive: Account Action


Retailer Expands Roster of Smaller Shops for Ad Creative

By Published on .

SAN FRANCISCO ( -- The Gap Inc.'s Old Navy chain, which reported declining same-store sales for the first quarter, is changing course with its agency of record, Deutsch Los Angeles, and will work with a variety of agencies for creative projects.
Related Story:
Work Valued at $181 Million

"Instead of one agency of record, we plan to be working with a very small group of creative shops [which] can handle creative projects," said Jonathan Finn, director of public relations. Going forward, TV and print creative for the critical back-to-school sales period will be produced by independent StrawberryFrog, while Deutsch, part of Interpublic Group of Cos., will continue producing Old Navy's teen-targeted and interactive work.

Mr. Finn declined to name additional shops under consideration for Old Navy work. Deutsch won the account after a review in April 2004.

Sales down
For the first quarter, sales at Old Navy stores opened for at least one year -- a key retail indicator -- dropped 4%. In May, they were down 8%. One of Deutsch's most recent campaigns, a spring effort for tunics, showed women on a yacht and on the beach moving to Young MC's "Bust a Move."

Old Navy spent $178 million on measured media last year, down from $181 million in 2003, according to TNS Media intelligence CMR.

The chain, with some 900 stores and an aggressive plan to add another 200 over the next two years, intends to add maternity, plus-size, accessories and personal-care lines to its inventory.

Bad timing for Deutsch
Old Navy's decision is another blow to the Deutsch's Marina del Rey office, which lost its cornerstone Mitsubishi Motors Corp. account and failed to come up with a victory on a handful of pitches since then.

Earlier this year, the Gap chain announced plans to add some additional items to its marketing inventory in the form of nontraditional media and methods as well as additional agencies. MDC Partners' Crispin Porter & Bogusky joined the Gap roster, picking up men's duties from Laird & Partners, which handles Gap Women, GapBody and babyGap. The Gap switched to musician Joss Stone after three seasons with spokeswoman Sarah Jessica Parker.

The Gap's Banana Republic brand has been working with Omnicom Group's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco. The retailer has also been contacting agencies for its new specialty store chain, Forth & Towne, which targets women aged 35 and older.

Most Popular