Levi's sends its Americas media account to UM
Levi Strauss & Co. has named Interpublic Group of Cos.' UM as its media agency of record for the Americas following a review, three people close to the business tell Ad Age.
The decision will end the San Francisco-based clothing company's relationship with incumbent agency of record Omnicom's OMD, which first won lead media buying and planning duties across the Levi's North American portfolio, including its Dockers subsidiary, in 2008. UM will now handle all buying and planning responsibilities for the Levi's brands in the U.S., Canada and Latin America.
UM deferred comment to the client while OMD declined to comment. Two Levi's spokeswomen did not return Ad Age's requests for comment.
According to Kantar Media estimates, Levi's spent approximately $79.9 million on measured media in the U.S. in 2018. In the first quarter of 2019 the company spent $17.4 million, down from the estimated $35.3 million it spent during the same period of 2018, Kantar reports.
One of the people close to the business claims to Ad Age that Levi's launched a cost-driven media review resulting from its initial public offering in March, which has since been weighing on the company's profits.
After a successful IPO that saw the company's stock rise 30 percent on the New York Stock Exchange, Levi's reported in July that it shed 63 percent of its profits during the 2019 second quarter from the same period the year before. The company blamed the profits decline on increased costs from its IPO, like underwriting fees to banks.
FCB has been the creative agency of record for Levi's since 2014. Last September, the shop created a 30-second TV spot for the brand that encouraged voting ahead of National Voter Registration Day. Levi's is one of a rising number of brands raising its voice to controversial issues—its CEO, Charles (Chip) Bergh, once penned a letter in Fortune magazine pledging the brand's support in ending gun violence.