CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- VF Corp.'s The North Face awarded its retail advertising account to Publicis & Hal Riney
, San Francisco, according to the agency, which declined further comment.
Despite being estimated as a $1 million account, the review drew upward of 40 agencies, many of them high-profile West Coast shops.
The Publicis Groupe
shop bested five other finalists, including a last-minute addition of Chicago-based Two by Four, which had worked for VF's Wrangler jeans division.
The other contenders were San Francisco shops independent Venables, Bell & Partners and Havas' Black Rocket Euro RSCG; and Seattle agencies Publicis in the West and Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide.
Incumbent Banjo Strategic Entertainment, formerly Blazing Paradigm, did not defend the account.
The first ads produced by Hal Riney will run in March 2003 publications.
North Face representatives were at an off-site meeting and not immediately reachable.