Offices in Barcelona, Paris and Rome will join the agency's San Francisco office-opened last year -and London headquarters.
The new offices "are there specifically in the first instance to handle our Adidas business, and [the move] was at the request of Adidas in Europe that we provide that kind of service to their local managers," said Leagas Chief Executive Bruce Haines.
Mr. Haines denied the latest expansion is an attempt to shore up the agency's hold on the global account, with spending expected to hit $100 million next year. The appointment of ex-Coca-Cola Co. European Advertising Director Neil Simpson as global advertising director of Adidas last August, with instructions to develop its advertising around the globe, has prompted speculation the account will be put up for review.
'FUELED' BY ADIDAS SUCCESS
The opening of new offices "is absolutely fueled by the success of Adidas and its advertising," Mr. Haines said. "The brand has grown at such a rate that individual marketplaces now have the requirement for more specifically targeted advertising."
The Paris, Rome and Barcelona offices will produce local work to supplement the global campaigns created in London. Leagas' London office already generates specific advertising for the U.K. and Germany-those two markets will account for $17 million and more than $17 million in spending, respectively, next year.
Adidas will spend a total of $33 million in the rest of Europe, with the lion's share going to France, host of the World Cup next year.
Executives in the new European offices will report to Paul Tredwell, London-based worldwide account director on the Adidas business.
Staff in the new offices will not be asked to search for new business but will devote themselves entirely to Adidas, Mr. Haines said.
But, he added, "as an agency brand, we are becoming more and more attractive to international clients. If one comes along, we would recruit [more staff] for them and the [Continental] offices would grow on that basis."
Adidas has not yet specified other European markets into which it would like Leagas to expand, Mr. Haines said.
Plans for a base in the Far East have decelerated because of the diversity of Adidas' requirements in each market, Mr. Haines said.
"We're feeling our way carefully because we don't want to rush into one particular marketplace and find that there is not enough panregional work to