AKA to Rebrand Furniture Maker

Austin Kelley Advertising, an Interpublic Group shop, has won the Pennsylvania House Furniture account following a review that began with eight contenders.

The Atlanta agency bested crosstown co-finalist Sawyer Riley Compton and Price/McNabb in Charlotte, N.C. Previous advertising had been created by various agencies under the tagline, “Making classic comfortable.”

Ron Fuhrman, vp of marketing at the furniture maker in Greensboro, N.C., said the brand, a division of La-Z-Boy, needed to be repositioned to appeal to a younger demographic. “We felt that by bringing someone like Austin Kelley aboard we could create consumer images of the company and launch a strategy for the future with one loud voice, one message,” Fuhrman said.

PHF competes with Ethan Allen and Thomasville through retailers in the Northeast. Established in the late 1800s as the Lewisburg Chair Co., the firm was renamed Pennsylvania House in 1993.

“The brand has a loyal core following but needs a different type of light shone on it,” said Jim Spruell, chief creative officer at AKA. “The company’s longevity can be seen as a negative, and we know how to turn that around.”

Billings are estimated at $1-2 million. Work will include print in shelter magazines targeting affluent women and designer trade publications. Some TV is expected.

AKA will also help launch Imagine It!, the Children’s Museum of Atlanta set to open in March. The primarily pro-bono account will involve direct mail, limited TV and radio, and print in area newspapers and city magazines.