Sunbeam Axes Agency Review

Sunbeam Corp. scrapped its agency review last week within hours of terminating chairman and chief executive officer Albert Dunlap.
The Delray Beach, Fla., company last month had announced plans to open a review of its global advertising and marketing account, which it valued at $160 million.
Ogilvy & Mather, Chicago, the incumbent agency on the Sunbeam brands, had been in discussions with the client about handling a consolidated account [Adweek, June 1], but Sunbeam was also moving forward with a formal review.
Cleveland consultancy Rojek Marketing Group had begun quietly contacting a handful of agencies about their global capabilities. Rojek previously handled reviews for outdoor product company Coleman Co. and Mr. Coffee marketer Signature Brands. Sunbeam acquired both of those companies, along with First Alert, earlier this year.
Those acquisitions were engineered by Dunlap, who was dismissed by Sunbeam’s board last Monday. On Tuesday, Rojek sent letters to all contacted agencies stating, “In light of this week’s management change at Sunbeam Corp. and the imminent business issues facing the company, we have reached a decision to retain Ogilvy & Mather Inc. as the agency of record.”
Lorraine Rojek, principal of the consultancy, said fewer than a dozen agencies had been contacted before the process was halted.
Sunbeam’s decision “to secure and stablize the relationship with O&M is the right one,” Rojek said. “They will have the chance to build a team to handle [the expanded brand portfolio],” and the newly acquired companies will have the chance to meet the agency, she said. Rojek will continue to work with Sunbeam “to define its internal resources and see how O&M can service its needs,” she said.
That process of “restructuring the relationship” with O&M will include further discussion of staffing on the account, compensation and other issues, she said.