Agency to Handle Global Creative Assignment

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NEW YORK ( -- Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi has picked up the global creative advertising account for U.S. luggage manufacturer Tumi.

The agency beat out competition from both small boutiques and other global agencies during a review process that began in March. Chad Mellen, vice president for marketing, would not name the other participants. Tumi's last agency relationship was with Brand Architecture International, part of Omnicom Group, though the two parties had not worked together for the past year.

Tumi would not discuss spending. The company spent $278,000 in measured media in 2002, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

Experience with luxury brands
Mr. Mellen said he chose Saatchi & Saatchi because the agency was able to draw on its experience marketing luxury brands, such as Toyota Motor Sales USA's Lexus, to international consumers. Saatchi's New York office will lead the assignment, which will be focused toward a print and out-of-home campaign in the U.S., Europe and Asia. The campaign will debut over the holiday period and will continue into the first half of 2004. Mr. Mellen said previous work, which originated in the U.S., had not translated well abroad.

Mr. Mellen said Tumi might also tap its direct and digital marketing agency partners for the campaign. They are two independent firms, Catalyst Direct, based in New York, and eBags Technology Services, in Denver. Billings for the account were not given.

Peruvian god
Tumi was established in 1975 and the company is named after a Peruvian god. Mr. Mellen said that many customers think the name is South American, Italian or Japanese.

"No one associates us with the U.S." Mr. Mellen said. "That can be a good thing when you're marketing abroad."

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