New Balance Shifts Media Duties to PGR Media

Omnicom Group's PHD Previously Handled Business

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New Balance has named PGR Media its media shop in the U.S. after a lengthy review, according to people familiar with the matter. The independent shop will be responsible for media buying and planning, and will take over for PHD, which had handled the business since 2007.

It's believed that New Balance, which last summer shifted creative duties from BBDO and Mother to Boston-based Arnold, was seeking a smaller shop to handle its media needs. PGR Media specializes in fashion and luxury brands, with clients including Bulgari, Celebrity Cruises, Kate Spade and Cole Haan. It probably doesn't hurt that PGR Media also has offices in Boston, New Balance's hometown, in addition to New York.

"We're a local company here, and working with local partners and agencies in the Boston area is important to our owners and to us," Hilary Keates, who is responsible for global marketing and brand management at New Balance, told Ad Age last month.

According to Kantar Media, New Balance spent $25 million in domestic measured media in 2010.

Representatives for New Balance declined to comment, as did PGR Media and PHD.

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Contributing: Rupal Parekh

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