Swirl Swaps E-Pet Clients

Resigns Petstore.com, Signs On With Petopia.com
SAN FRANCISCO-There was a bright spot for Swirl in its ill-fated relationship with e-commerce Web site Petstore.com, as the agency used its brief experience with the client to land another Internet pet supply company, Petopia.com.
Swirl won the $10 million Petopia.com account following a review that included finalists Anderson & Lembke and SF Interactive, both in San Francisco.
Earlier this year, Swirl was awarded the $10 million Petstore.com business, also after a Bay Area agency review [Adweek, April 19]. Shortly after Swirl signed on, however, Petstore.com’s vice president of marketing, Bruce Gallaher, departed following changes in the to-be-launched company’s management and venture capitalist ranks, said sources.
Gallaher was instrumental in hiring Swirl and public relations company Fleishman-Hillard, San Francisco. After his departure, Swirl and the PR firm both opted to resign the account.
“For us, it wasn’t just about [Gallaher],” said Eric Roos, partner and director of account planning at Swirl. “The client had also changed its focus from long-term branding of Petstore.com to building short-term traffic [ahead of] the IPO.”
Swirl is now working on a national campaign promoting Petopia.com’s e-commerce site, which is “for people really committed to their pets,” said Roos. Online and offline advertising, including broadcast work, will break this summer.
Razorfish, New York, is handling the client’s Web design needs. ƒ