Nearly Three Years After Breakup, Reebok Returns to McGarryBowen

New Global Brand Campaign to Break Within Weeks

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Reebok and McGarryBowen have quietly reunited, and a new global brand campaign for the sports-apparel and equipment retailer is expected to debut in the coming weeks, Ad Age has learned.

"We are excited to work with McGarryBowen again," said Viktoria Wallner, VP-brand marketing communications of Reebok, in a statement to Ad Age . "Their strength is creating big ideas that truly tell the story of the brand in an enticing way. We feel that they will be a strong partner for us to bring our new brand positioning to life."

McGarryBowen declined to comment about the forthcoming work and the renewed relationship, but it is understood that the shop has a close relationship with president of Reebok International, Uli Becker.

Reebok Real Flex
Reebok Real Flex

The addition of yet another new client, on the heels of Bud Light, Burger King and others, is another boost for the Dentsu-owned shop.

In 2010, Reebok spent a total of $75 million on domestic measured media, according to Kantar. That number seems to have dipped a bit for 2011; spending from January through October was about $50 million. But globally the overall spending is likely to be much higher.

Back in 2004, the Canton, Mass.-based company switched various creative assignments to McGarryBowen -- then a fledgling independent shop that was nowhere near the monster on the new-business circuit that it is today -- from Omnicom Group's Arnell. After some time though, the relationship weakened, and in March 2009, Reebok announced it had appointed DDB Worldwide as its lead creative agency, to service the business from hubs in Chicago, Berlin and Hong Kong.

That the retailer has decided to return brand advertising to McGarryBowen means that the two key accounts that McGarryBowen has lost in its decade-long existence have now both returned to the shop. Verizon Communications had left in 2007, but a couple years later boomeranged back and has parked the bulk of its creative advertising at the shop.

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