Karastan Assigns Print to Austin Kelley

Geography Is Key as Carpet Maker Moves Closer to Home
ATLANTA–After an informal review of a handful of advertising agencies in Atlanta, officials with Karastan have placed their national print creative assignment with Austin Kelley Advertising.
Karastan’s $2 million account had been at McKinney & Silver in Raleigh, N.C., for the last 10 years.
The client said the agency switch had as much to do with geographic considerations–Karastan is about an hour north of Atlanta in Calhoun, Ga.–as anything else.
“We had decided that we wanted an agency based in Atlanta,” said Phil Haney, client senior vice president of marketing and sales. “We did a search of agencies in the area and talked to a number of shops. We really hit it off with [Austin Kelley] from the start. Their thinking was right on target.”
According to Haney, the company’s account review process was an informal affair. He said the agencies that client officials spoke with were not required to complete a speculative creative assignment.
Among the agencies client executives spoke to before deciding on Austin Kelley Advertising were Bayless & Partners, Fitzgerald & Co. and Sawyer Riley Compton, all located in Atlanta.
A factor that weighed heavily in Austin Kelley’s favor was its experience in speaking to affluent consumers on accounts such as Arvida, The Homestead, Kiawah Island and Reynolds Plantation.
“We understand Karastan’s
target audience,” said agency president Geoffrey Nixon.
Advertising for the agency’s newest client will appear in national consumer magazines like Vanity Fair, Traditional Homes, Sunset, Victoria and House Beautiful.
Broadcast for the client, which involves dealer co-op ads, is handled by Lance Benefield in Scottsdale, Ariz. Media for 1999 has already been placed.
“We’re not looking to bust up any of their relationships,” said Nixon. “Hopefully, this is the beginning of a long relationship.”
Karastan, owned by Mohawk Industries, manufactures high-end broadloom carpets and area rugs.