Venables Bell & Partners Named Reebok's Global Agency

Account had Previously Bounced Between McGarryBowen and DDB

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Reebok has selected indie agency Venables Bell & Partners as its new global lead agency after a review.

The account had flip-flopped between Omnicom's DDB and Dentsu's McGarrybowen over the course of the last decade. DDB most recently picked up the account about a year ago, and work from the agency just started airing early this year with another spot expected to launch this spring.

DDB said it declined to participate in the review, though it's believed that the agency will remain on the brand's global roster in some capacity for digital work in Europe. The review was handled by Santa Monica, Calif.-based Select Resources. It's understood that other contenders in the review included Omnicom's Goodby Silverstein & Partners and New York-based Mother.

"VB&P demonstrated a deep understanding of our brand purpose and culture and developed thinking and creative that excited everyone involved in the process," said Yan Martin, head of global brand marketing at Reebok in a statement. "We're confident that VB&P will help maintain the brand's forward momentum and raise the strategic and creative bar for the Reebok brand."

"Reebok represents exactly the kind of opportunity that excites us most: an iconic brand led by a brave client with a genuine desire to challenge category conventions," said Will McGinness, executive creative director, Venables Bell & Partners. For Venables, the win comes after winning the Skyy vodka account late last year.

In January 2012, McGarry picked the Reebok account back up after a three-year hiatus on the brand. McGarryBowen originally won the business in 2004, but then DDB took on the account in 2009.

Reebok, owned by Adidas, has dropped its measured media spending considerably in recent years. In 2011, the company spent $62.5 million on U.S. measured media on Reebok, according to Kantar Media, and decreased spend to $39.2 million in 2012. In the first nine months of 2013 the brand spent $16.1 million. Sales at Reebok rose 5% during the most recent quarter.

Though Mr. Martin oversees global marketing, the move comes less than two months after Chris Waldeck was named brand director for Reebok U.S. Mr. Waldeck, who formerly served as brand director for Reebok Korea, has been charged with leading the North American marketing strategy for Reebok.

Contributing: Natalie Zmuda

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