Honey Dew Donuts Mulls Small, Mid-Sized Shops

Honey Dew Donuts has invited six of the region’s small and mid-sized players to pitch its $2 million advertising account.

Advancing last week into the semifinal round of a review being run by Boston consulting firm Pile and Co. were Connelly Partners, Gearon Hoffman and Greenberg Seronick O’Leary & Partners, all in Boston; Baldwin & Stone of Cambridge, Mass.; Cronin & Co., Glastonbury, Conn.; and Duffy & Shanley of Providence, R.I.

Finalists will be named before month’s end, with a winner being chosen before Christmas, said Judy Neer of Pile and Co.

The Braintree, Mass.-based client, which operates 150 locations in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire, plans to expand into Vermont and Maine. The client is looking for an agency to help it compete against both large, established competitors, and coffee shops throughout the region.

Lane Advertising, Salem, Mass., is not defending the Honey Dew account, which it has handled for the past three years. Recently, Lane’s TV and radio commercials for Honey Dew have used the tagline, “Wake up and smell the coffee.”

Honey Dew director of marketing Amy Levenson noted that the chain’s “aggressive plans” for growth as driving the review. Keith Lane, president of Lane Advertising, said the parting was “amicable,” but has conceded that Honey Dew’s decision to seek a new shop came as “a shock.”

The contenders were selected based in part on size; though the client wishes to work with an agency larger than Lane, it expects first-rank talent to be assigned to the business, sources said.

Dunkin’ Donuts, Randolph, Mass., of late has turned up the heat on its rivals, unveiling an image campaign from Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston, themed “Loosen up a little.” [Adweek, Aug. 14]. The ads have run in heavy rotation in greater Boston and elsewhere in New England.