NEW YORK — Gap Inc. is boosting its fourth quarter ad budget by approximately 30 percent over year-ago levels, to an estimated $151 million, and appears bent on bridging a divide commonly faced by fashion consumers: the disconnect between a brand’s advertising, merchandise and selling environment.

That’s the word from Richard Jaffe, a specialty retail analyst who follows Gap for UBS Warburg’s Global Equity Research unit. A Gap spokeswoman declined to confirm those figures, citing company policy. She did say, "We backed up a lot of our ad spending for the fourth quarter, so that’s the right way to think about it."

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