No Nonsense chooses McKinney

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The maker of No Nonsense pantyhose hired McKinney & Silver to weave the brand's first advertising in three years.

Kayser-Roth, Greensboro, N.C., chose the Raleigh shop as its creative agency and Initiative Media Worldwide, West Hollywood, Calif., to handle buying and planning (AA, Feb. 21).

Jed Holland, Kayser-Roth's VP-marketing sales, said the budget and the media plan have not yet been decided. The first ads could break in the first quarter of 2001, he added.

No Nonsense had done virtually no advertising in recent years, as it reeled from both a downturn in hosiery sales and changes in ownership.

Its last significant advertising consisted of print ads from the now-defunct Lois EJL, Chicago, three years ago, Mr. Holland said.

SPENDING WILL RISE

According to Competitive Media Reporting, total media spending for No Nonsense dropped from $4.5 million in 1995 to $51,000 in 1998, and it received no support in 1999. Industry executives estimated the account could rise to $10 million in spending with the new effort.

Golden Lady, Europe's largest hosiery manufacturer and marketer, acquired Kayser-Roth in late 1998.

"That's all settling down now. We have had a significant amount of new-product activity. Now, we'll be able to add to our level of support," said Mr. Holland.

No Nonsense has retained its retail profile -- it runs neck and neck with Sara Lee Corp.'s L'eggs brand at mass retailers -- thanks to a number of product introductions in the last three years, said Mr. Holland.

Among products launched last year are Almost Bare, a sheer line targeted at young women, and Renew, a compression hose to revitalize legs throughout the day. Mr. Holland said additional new products will hit in the fall, but wouldn't elaborate.

Sales of sheer hosiery and tights dropped 7.1% in 1999 to $2.3 billion, after a drop of 7.6% in 1998, according to figures from consultancy NPD Group.

BOTTOMING OUT

But there are signs the market has bottomed out, said Mr. Holland. The number of women who wear hosiery has stabilized at about 70% and they are increasingly spending more on value-added products such as shaping and support hose.

Additionally, colored and patterned hose made an appearance at fall fashion shows held last month, where designers pushed a retro '80's look for this fall.

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