Lee Jeans is reviewing its 20m pan-European advertising account, which has been at Grey Advertising for six years.
David Smith, the European marketing director for the Wrangler and Lee brands, is looking at agencies as part of a wide-ranging review of positioning for the brand portfolio.
Smith took over the Lee brand just three weeks ago when former European marketing director Derek Woodgate left unexpectedly after a disagreement over brand positioning (MW January 22).
It is understood that Woodgate favoured a new strategy to market Lee as a sexier and younger brand to reach a target market of 20- to 24-year-old women.
Last year’s poster ad for Lee Jeans showing a denim-clad woman pinning a man’s buttocks down with a stiletto heel sparked 77 complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority. However, the “Put the boot in” ad was cleared on the grounds that it showed a woman in control.
Lee is traditionally marketed as a women’s brand and Wrangler, which is also owned by US company VF Corporation, is marketed to men.
Grey confirms the Lee account is up for review but refuses to comment further. Smith was unavailable for comment as Marketing Week went to press.