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A.T. Cross Taps Arnold

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Havas' Arnold has punctuated its 2010 comeback performance with A.T. Cross pens.

The client has tapped the Boston-based agency for a global strategy assignment that will yield a full-scale marketing campaign.

Cross has done scant promotions of late. Its last notable push was about a year ago, when it enlisted Providence, R.I.-based independent Nail Communications for an e-commerce initiative that included a Web site redesign.

Despite annual measured-media budgets in recent years of $1 million or less, per Nielsen, Cross is a good fit for Arnold because it is an "iconic brand with a rich heritage," said Neela Pal, managing partner, director of business and brand strategy at the shop.

The client also provides a potential creative showcase, and the challenge now is for Arnold to update Cross' image for the social-media age.

"This is an opportunity for us to connect with customers in new and different ways," said Chad Mellen, president of the client's accessory division.

After struggling mightily during the height of the recession, Arnold has returned to form with a yearlong new-business streak that also includes assignments from Aetna, Alberto Culver, CVS, New Balance and Panasonic.