Playtex needs agency as rivals ready product push

LONDON: Playtex, the brains behind the Wonderbra, is putting its consumer PR account up for grabs after parting company with its agency of nine months, Ketchum Life.

LONDON: Playtex, the brains behind the Wonderbra, is putting its consumer PR account up for grabs after parting company with its agency of nine months, Ketchum Life.

LONDON: Playtex, the brains behind the Wonderbra, is putting its

consumer PR account up for grabs after parting company with its agency

of nine months, Ketchum Life.



The move comes within weeks of the departure of Playtex’s marketing

director, Victor Crawford. Its timing is particularly poor for the

company: several of its competitors in the bra market have announced

plans to launch new products within the next two months.



Ketchum Life had promoted all of Playtex’s bras except for the Lovable

and Fila brands, which have been handled by London PR for the past five

years.



The agency’s team was led by fashion director Claudia Crow, who reported

to Crawford. Playtex’s former European marketing director, Nick

Houghton, has assumed many of Crawford’s responsibilities as commercial

director.



London PR’s work is not up for pitch, however, and the agency has

stepped in to fill the gap left by Ketchum Life until a new agency is

selected.



In confirming the move, Playtex managing director John Dixey said that

the pitching process would begin in the next few weeks. He declined to

comment on whether Ketchum jumped from the account or had been

pushed.



’As often happens with major changes in personnel, it was difficult for

the relationship to continue,’ said Jane Boardman, Ketchum Life managing

director.



The winner of the pitch will be Playtex’s third agency in just over a

year. Jackie Cooper PR ended its nine-year relationship with the company

in June of 1998 due to a client conflict.



Playtex was widely credited with revolutionizing the bra market when it

launched the Wonderbra in January 1994, but the brand has since been

copied by rivals.



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