Martin given the boot

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Well, at least the Martin Agency went down swinging. The Richmond, Va.-based agency, owned by Interpublic Group of Cos., produced its final ad campaign for Timberland Co., which will break next month. This was done as the Stratham, N.H., apparel company conducted a review for a new agency to handle its global advertising.

Timberland narrowed the field to four: Interpublic's Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis, pitched Aug. 9; Publicis Group's Fallon Worldwide, New York; Havas Advertising's Black Rocket, San Francisco; and WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson, New York, all pitched Aug. 10. Timberland spokeswoman Leslie Bonnyham said an agency should be chosen by month's end.

The Martin Agency, Timberland's agency of record for the past four years, did not participate in the review. Martin produced Timberland's "Graph" campaign last year, a finalist for a Magazine Publishers of America's Kelly Award.

"Obviously, we're disappointed," a Martin Agency executive said. "They have a new marketing guy who wants to put his own stamp on things. It happens in this business. We wish them well." Frank Bifulco, Timberland's chief marketing officer, joined the firm eight months ago.

Martin's final Timberland effort, "For the Journey," is Timberland's biggest, dollarwise. It spent $12.8 million in all of 2000, according to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR, and will spend $15.4 million just on the fall 2001 U.S. media buy on this campaign, Ms. Bonnyham said.

The integrated campaign will feature a TV spot to run on national cable, national and regional print ads, key market outdoor and customer-specific co-op advertising.

The 30-second TV spot depicts a true outdoor lover who happens to live in New York City. He bounds down the steps of his brownstone with a red canoe overhead-the man's face is never seen-hoping to escape to the great outdoors.

The black-and-white print ads depict special outdoor moments, such as a father and son ice fishing. The TV spot and the print ads carry the "For the Journey" tagline.

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