Mead Shops School Supplies

Mead Corp. has started a review for its $8 million school and office division ad account–currently split between two shops–with the likelihood of consolidating the business.
The assignment is divided between Partners & Shevack/Wolf, New York, which has creative duties, and media shop Sive/Young & Rubicam, Cincinnati.
Dana Walker, marketing manager for the division, confirmed the review but would not name the agencies invited. She indicated, however, that a consolidation is likely.
Shevack will defend, said Walker, who would not say if Sive/Y&R is under consideration. Officials at that agency could not be reached. A decision is expected within a month, she said.
Due to sluggish sales, Dayton, Ohio-based Mead installed new presidents in several divisions last year and is re-evaluating all of its vendor relationships. The school supplies unit is Mead’s largest consumer products division but is smallest in sales, tallying $429 million of its $3 billion total for the nine months ended Sept. 28, 1998. Most revenue comes from paper, paperboard and packaging sales to businesses.
Mead spent about $7 million on ads in the first 10 months of 1998, per Competitive Media Reporting. A spot from last year, tagged “Built strong to last long,” shows school custodians playing hockey with a Five Star notebook.
With such brands as Five Star, First Gear and Cambridge, Mead claims to be the largest U.S. marketer of paper supplies for school and office. –with Justin Dini