Levi's Hands More Business to Wieden & Kennedy, OMD

Appoints Shops to Handle $100 Million Global Duties After a Review

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Levi Strauss & Co.'s Levi's brand today announced the completion of a global review of its agency partners, resulting in expanded duties for U.S. incumbent shops Wieden & Kennedy and Omnicom Group's OMD.

"These partners demonstrate a deep understanding of the Levi's brand, and we're confident they are the right team to help us galvanize consumers behind the innovative and pioneering spirit of our iconic global brand," Robert Hanson, president of the global Levi's brand, said in an e-mail.

Late in 2008, Levi's tapped independent Wieden to handle its creative account in the Americas. The agency was responsible for the global "Go Forth" campaign, launched the following year. Now, in addition to Wieden's Portland, Ore., office, its Amsterdam, Shanghai, Tokyo and Sao Paulo offices will also work on the Levi's business. That business was previously handled by a variety of shops.

OMD, which according to people familiar with the matter beat out WPP's MediaCom and Publicis Groupe's Starcom for the media business, was the incumbent in the U.S., but will now handle global Levi's brand media business including planning, buying, online and offline.

According to people familiar with the situation, the media review was an effort by the marketer to consolidate the nearly 20 media agencies it works with around the world.

OMD won media planning and buying duties for the Levi's and Dockers brands in North America in October 2008. The agency went on to produce award-winning work for the clothing manufacturer, including the Dockers shakeable iPhone app. In an interview with Ad Age last year, Karen Riley-Grant, director of global consumer marketing at Levi's, credited the app with a 300% increase in chatter, an unprecedented number for the brand, she said at the time. In May, Dockers held a pitch for its digital creative account but decided not to award any of the contending agencies. Instead, it consolidated all of its digital media business with OMD.

The agencies either declined to comment or couldn't be immediately reached. Jones Lundin Beals ran the review.

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