Boston Shops Vie for Carpet One

Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulous and Modernista! are among the seven agencies contending for Carpet One’s ad account, sources said.

The Boston-based shops are vying against Eisner Communications in Baltimore; WestWayne of Atlanta; Colby & Partners in Santa Monica, Calif.; Doner in Southfield, Mich.; and Gotham of New York. Select Resources International of West Hollywood, Calif., is conducting the search. A cut to finalists is expected this week.

The Manchester, N.H., client said it plans to substantially increase its ad spending this year. A $50 million budget is possible, sources said. CMR lists 2002 expenditures at $5 million.

The retailer is asking shops to do something “different, cool” … to “position themselves in a funky way,” sources said.

Carpet One’s marketing challenge is creating a national campaign that targets both consumers and its 1,000 independent storeowners, according to the request for proposal.

For consumers, ads must address the category’s “price sensitivity” and the fact that while service is critical, most shoppers do not think about installation when comparing marketplace pricing. Retailers, who can opt in or out of marketing programs, will need to be wooed by a “big idea.”

It is unclear whether Florence Henderson, whose ads are popular with Carpet One’s retailers, will remain in her spokesperson’s role.

Sales by parent company CCA Global Partners in Earth City, Mo., totalled $6 billion from affiliated flooring stores in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand.