Martin Misses Out on Nick

NEW YORK-Chalk one up for the little guy. Sources said New York’s Kidvertisers last week topped Arnold Communications of Boston, DiNoto Lee here and The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., for the estimated $15 million Nickelodeon account.
The creative boutique, with eight full-time employees and about $8 million in billings, has worked with the client on a project basis, handling licensing, Nickelodeon magazine and international marketing. It also has been agency of record for Nick Jr. for nearly five years. At Nick Jr., Kidvertisers worked with Ruth Sarlin, vice president of brand and franchise marketing, who led the Nickelodeon review with director of brand and franchise marketing Richard Loomis [Adweek, May 10].
The agency would not confirm the account win at press time.
Larry Nunno, co-president and account manager at Kidvertisers, said the shop presented a campaign aimed at children. He added that “the best way to the parents’ hearts is through showing kids having fun; they relate it to their own kids.”
How will the small shop handle an account that could nearly triple its billings? Nunno said Kidvertisers promised it would add at least three high-level staffers to fill holes in its marketing and TV production areas. Nickelodeon assignments already comprise about 80 percent of the agency’s billings.
Referring to the review, Nunno said, “We were afraid of Arnold. We had worked together on Hasbro a few years ago, and they knocked us out of that box” after winning Playskool’s TV account. -with Judy Warne