Gildan Splits with AOR

Steve’s breakdown: No word on weather the client will be hiring a new agency but it wouldn’t hurt to check into it.

MONTREAL, CANADA: Gildan, the “Branded Apparel division” of Canada’s Gildan Activewear Inc., signed New York agency DeVito/Verdi as its creative AOR in late 2012 in an attempt to revive its Gold Toe brand after the shop beat several competitors in a review.

The agency’s most visible subsequent work for the client was a spot that aired during  Super Bowl XLVII. The ad, called “Getaway,” starred a man eager to reclaim his favorite (white) shirt after a one-night stand and prompted one Forbes writer to wonder whether a “sexy Super Bowl ad” could “make a boring T-shirt maker cool.

At the time, some questioned Gildan’s efforts to “push the envelope”–but in retrospect the campaign was generally seen to be a success in helping the client sell blank shirts.

Today, however, we learned that Gildan will no longer count DeVito/Verdi as its agency of record. A statement on that matter from the agency itself:

“The agency is proud of the efforts and accomplishments these past three years for Gildan. The departure will have minimal impact on the agency because of the recent new business wins of Gordmans, Mount Sinai Health System and BevMo! these past three months.”

A spokesperson tells us that three employees–two of whom worked in the creative department–did leave the agency last week as a result of the account loss but says that most recent staffing changes came about due to a series of moves that will allow the team to better service the new clients mentioned above. DeVito/Verdi also notes that Gildan’s stock price has consistently increased since it began working with the agency less than three years ago.

Gildan spent $4 million on the 2013 Super Bowl ad, which accounted for more than half of its measured ad expenditures for that year.

We’ve reached out to the client to clarify whether it plans to issue an RFP and choose an AOR for future campaigns, but we have yet to receive a response.


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