American Eagle Outfitters Briefs Finalists

Final pitches slated for next month

And then there were three.

American Eagle Outfitters today briefed a trio of agency teams that advanced to the final round of the retailer’s global creative and media review. Each team includes a creative and media shop.

Sources identified the creative agencies as Deutsch, Leo Burnett and Arnold and their media partners as Initiative (in overseas markets, with Deutsch handling U.S. media efforts), Starcom and MediaCom, respectively.

The next step is a round of work sessions. Final presentations will take place at the end of April.

The assignment includes the retailer’s namesake brand as well as Aerie and 77kids. Future media spending is estimated at $35 million annually, about $25 million of it in the U.S., according to sources.

The finalists emerged from a field of six agencies that American Eagle executives visited last month. Ark Advisors in New York is managing the process.

The review seeks to consolidate business that previously was split among several shops in different regions of the world. Beyond the U.S., key markets include China, Japan, Russia, Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

Ark did not return calls and the Pittsburgh, Pa.-based American Eagle could not immediately be reached.