Timberland Taps Leagas Delaney for Global Creative

Footwear Maker Said It Will Increase Ad Spending

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- After a swift review, footwear and apparel retailer Timberland has selected London-based independent Leagas Delaney to replace Havas' Arnold, Boston, as its global creative agency.

Timberland last month parted ways with Arnold after a three-year run, and wasted no time in reaching out to agencies and conducting pitches. Other shops in the review were independents Modernista and DeVito/Verdi, along with Havas' Euro RSCG, New York, according to executives familiar with the matter.

Representatives for the agencies either referred calls to the client or could not be reached.

Carol Yang, Timberland's VP-marketing, in a statement said: "We were looking for a partner who can help us create a distinctive voice for Timberland to forge a strong emotional connection with our consumers."

Eco-friendly reputation
Stratham, N.H.-based Timberland sells its gear worldwide through department stores, athletic specialty stores and independent retailers. In recent years, it has been lauded for its eco-friendly production and marketing practices.

Timberland in its statement said it plans to increase its ad spending behind the Leagas Delaney campaign, expected to launch this fall, across key markets including the U.S., U.K., Italy, Germany, France, China and Japan.

Executives familiar with the matter placed the retailer's global marketing budget at around $30 million. According to data from TNS Media Intelligence, Timberland's U.S. measured media spending has dropped off since 2005, from $11 million to $6.2 million in 2006, and then to only $1 million between January and September 2007.

Historically, Timberland has been open to experimentation with a variety of ad agency partners. In addition to Arnold, it has worked with Publicis Groupe's Fallon and Interpublic Group of Cos.' Mullen.

Media stays with MediaHub
Mullen's media arm, MediaHub, won back some of the marketer's business last summer, and currently handles media planning, buying and analytics.

Leagas Delaney, headed by Chairman Tim Delaney, is headquartered in London with small offices in Milan, Rome, Hamburg and Prague.

Leagas Delaney was named Body Shop's first global agency in November 2007, as the U.K. company is taking a more international approach to marketing following its acquisition by L'Oreal. The agency also picked up vacuum maker Dyson's European business in late 2007.
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