Kohler Seeks Shop for $15 Mil. Biz

Kohler is circulating a request for proposals for its $15 million creative account, agency sources said last week.

The Kohler, Wisconsin-based maker of kitchen and bath fixtures has asked agencies to submit case studies demonstrating experience in both durable goods and consumer package goods, according to a copy of the RFP.

The review, be-lieved to be national, is being managed in-house, with proposals due back in mid-October. The account is for both TV and print.

A Kohler representative declined comment.

TV work has been handled re-cently on a project basis by sev-eral agencies, including The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va. Deutsch in New York has also done ads for the client in the past. Martin executives could not be immediately reached for comment on whether it is participating in the review.

Grey Worldwide resigned the ac-count’s print portion in July after handling it for 13 years; billings were estimated to be $5 million. Steve Blamer, president of New York-based Grey, said in a statement at the time that the parting was due to creative differences. “We reached an impasse due to philosophical differences over the creative direction and, secondarily, financial issues made this determination that much easier,” he said.

Starcom USA in Chicago was awarded Kohler’s media-buying account last year.

The privately held Kohler had estimated sales of $2.4 billion in 1998, and employs 18,000 workers. Chairman Herbert Kohler Jr., grandson of the firm’s founder, controls most of the company.