Agency Opps: 5 Brands on the Verge of a Review

November 7, 2019

When you’re looking to pitch your agency services to major brands, timing is everything. If you wait until the review is announced, you’re too late. That’s why Winmo does more than just tell you who to prospect, we evaluate subtle changes that precipitate new business opportunities, so you know precisely when to reach out. 

We factor in a number of industry shifts to create a scoring system that tells you which accounts will be most receptive to your outreach, and during which time period. To help you end Q4 (and the year) on a strong note, we’re bringing you brands on the verge of an agency review – likely to make a change within the next three to six months. 

We’re also including details on where the specific opportunity lies so your outreach is more likely to resonate. Here are five brands to target now: 

1. Mass Bay Brewing Names First CMO Amid Increased Digital Spending 

Massachusetts Bay Brewing Company, also known as Harpoon Brewery, named Jon London CMO, effective September. MBBC ships it’s beer all over the country, but it has two brewery locations: one in Boston, and another in Vermont. Naturally, sellers and agencies in the Northeast will likely have the most edge. MBBC also hosts millennial-focused festivals including Boston’s St. Patrick’s day festival and Harpoon Fest (May), as well as Vermont’s BBQ Festival. 

MBBC additionally relies on organic growth on social outlets such as Instagram. Agencies should take note a potential social media opportunity is available here. The use of this channel further proves a focus on the millennial demographic, but it also hints at a legal-age Gen Z skew, as does it’s better-for-the-environment push. 

Media Seller Opportunity: Offer digital space for Q1 2020, MBBC should spend during this time again, since it first started placing dollars more heavily during that time period last year. Local sellers near the Boston area should have the upper hand, but MBBC also sells its products in stores and restaurants across the US. 

Agency Opportunity: No known agency relationships exist yet but act fast or you’ll miss out. New CMOs tend to form relationships quickly when trying to fuel brand growth, especially in a market as crowded as craft beer. The more experience you have in the industry, the better. 

Request a Demo for Access to Mass Bay Decision-Maker Contact Info 

2. PVH Loses CDO, Calvin Klein CMO as Tommy Hilfiger Gains CMO 

There have been a number of personnel changes at Phillips-Van Heusen (PVH) and subsidiaries Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger. One of the most notable changes is the departure of Marie Gulin-Merle, who served as global CMO of Calvin Klein and global chief digital officer of PVH. Until her replacement is named, her duties will be split between the existing leadership team. One of these leaders is Michael Scheiner, who became CMO of Tommy Hilfiger Global on October 28. 

On top of these changes, Calvin Klein promoted CEO Cheryl Abel-Hodges and also saw a number of lower-level changes to its marketing team. 

Agency and Martech Opportunity: These changes signal opportunity approaching quickly, so agency and martech readers with fashion experience should continue to reach out. Media at Calvin Klein may be your best bet since Vizeum, which handles media across the entire portfolio, lost the account to Tommy Hilfiger. The brand launched a media review across North America and Europe in August and the Dentsu agency decided not to defend. A domino effect is likely to occur and cause it to lose it’s relationship with Calvin Klein as well. 

Media Seller Opportunity: There is also a good chance to secure digital and experiential work. PVH and it’s brands have been focusing on these channels in order to appeal to Gen-Z and millennials. Laird & Partners currently assists with creative and social. PVH faces competition from Ralph Lauren, Lacosta and Levi’s. Sellers who can use digital and experiential to reach millennials and Gen-Z will likely have the advantage. PVH and it’s brands typically spend most during Q4 to capitalize on the holiday season, though new products are released throughout the year. 

Request a Demo for Access to PVH Decision-Maker Contact Info 

3. Gap Plans Early November Launch of Digital Holiday Ads 

Gap has debuted a new holiday season campaign from Johannes Leondardo, it’s AOR since this summer. The November spot is part of Gap’s new “Gift the Thought” gifting platform, and Gap is investing more in this year’s campaign than it did last year. In it’s latest earnings call, Gap CEO Art Peck mentioned that the company plans on “improving marketing effectiveness” with more “measured involvement.” 

During the past 12 months, Adbeat reports that Gap has spent $21.7 million on digital display ads placed primarily via YouTube videos on ($8.1 million) and site direct ($8.7 million) on sites such as ($1.9 million),,, and This amount reflects an 8% increase from the $20 million spent from October 2017-2018. This digital shift signals that Gap’s wide target demographic is starting to skew towards millennials and Gen-Z. 

Agency and Martech Opportunity: PHD has handled media buying and planning since 2010, much longer than average agency tenure of 3-4 years, so consider reaching out for potential media work. Rise Interactive and Six Degrees respectively handle digital and PR. 

Request a Demo for Access to Gap Decision-Maker Contact Info 

4. Vireo Health Names New Strategic AOR, Plans Product Launch 

Vireo Health named Connecticut’s Colangelo Synergy strategic marketing AOR to help launch the brand platform “1937” in NYC. This will be Vireo’s first recreational marijuana product, considering it previously focused solely on medicinal products. Vireo is licensed to sell in Arizona, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, and Rhode Island. 

This partnership follows Vireo’s $67.3 million funding win in June. Vireo’s CMO, Harris Rabin, has only been with the company since May, so further shifts in spend and agency relationships may occur in the coming quarters. 

Media Seller Opportunity: Jennie Leuzarder, Vireo’s sales and marketing VP, seems to be aiming to target Gen Z with a “social equality” focus. We may see this brand invest in cause marketing as well as digital, but most recreational cannabis companies have to advertise locally, so focus on states in which they have a license. 

Agency Opportunity: Vireo has enough in funding to form other agency relationships, so it may choose to hold another review soon. Those in the Midwest (Vireo headquarters) or the Northeast (Colangelo headquarters) may have the advantage. If you specialize in the Cannabis industry and have experience with Northeast regional marketing, reach out. Vireo seems active on Instagram, so consider offering social media services to continue pulling in millennials and legal-age Gen Z. 

Request a Demo for Access to Vireo Health Decision-Maker Contact Info 

5. Chicago Ideas Switches Creative AOR 

Chicago Ideas, a year-round event and digital content platform, has selected Havas as it’s creative AOR, replacing incumbent Leo Burnett. According to iSpot, Chicago Ideas hasn’t allocated budget towards national TV commercials since it spent $50,070 in 2015. However, return to this channel under a new creative AOR. 

Chicago Ideas has seen an overall drop in ad spend, likely reflecting a shift toward experiential channels and organic social media growth. However, we may see spend pick back up with upcoming work. The brand’s focus on inclusive innovation at its events signals an effort to reach inclusivity-minded Gen-Z and millennials. 

Agency and Martech Opportunity: Since agency reviews tend to come in pairs, consider reaching out soon for potential digital, media, and social duties. Since Chicago Ideas and Havas are both located in Chicago, local readers will likely have the upper hand. 

Request a Demo for Access to Chicago Ideas Decision-Maker Contact Info

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