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TBWA LOSES GLOBAL HOLD ON TAG HEUER BUSINESS

Published on .

(Sept. 5, 2001) PARIS -- Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer will shortly move its global ad account from Omnicom Group's TBWA, Paris, to another, as-yet unnamed agency network that emerged successful from a multi-agency pitch this summer.

Marketing execs at Tag Heuer -- owned since 1999 by French luxury goods giant LVMH -- are set to announce the agency switch Sept. 13 during a press conference that was, ironically, planned as a showcase for TBWA's latest global campaign for the upper-end timepiece brand.

The press and print ads from legendary photographer Jean-Baptiste Mondino introduce European fashion icon Ines Sastre, Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi and U.S. track and field star Marion Jones as the brand's new regional spokeswomen, and are scheduled to roll out worldwide in mid-September.

The pending realignment will be the latest bump in a long-standing relationship between TBWA, Paris, and Tag Heuer.

The former BDDP@TBWA, Paris, managed Tag Heuer's international advertising from Paris for much of the 1990s, until losing the account to Bartle Bogle Hegarty, London, in 1997.

TBWA reclaimed the account in March 2000 after differences between Bartle Bogle and Tag Heuer, but its creative work never reclaimed the former glory of its ads from previous years, prompting this summer's review and next week's expected agency shift. -- Lawrence J. Speer

Copyright September 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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