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Household Co. Puts $10 Mil. Account In Play

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NEW YORK: Rubbermaid, the marketer of diverse home and children's products, is conducting a review for its estimated $10 million U.S. ad account.
The Wooster, Ohio, company has sent out requests for proposals via The Rojek Marketing Group in Cleveland on all corporate ad account duties as well as those for the Rubbermaid Home and Seasonal Products, Little Tikes Juvenile Products and Graco Infant Products divisions, RMG president Lorraine Rojek said. Rojek also said the ad budget would likely increase in 1998.
Rubbermaid's lead agency is Meldrum & Fewsmith Communications in Cleveland, which has handled Rubbermaid Home and Seasonal Products since December 1995. M&F and Liggett-Stashower, also in Cleveland, have both handled projects for Graco and Little Tikes; those lines have no lead shop. Neither agency returned calls, but Rojek said Meldrum will defend the account. She declined to name other agencies invited to pitch.
The client wants the successful shop "to try to develop more connection between the Rubbermaid parent and its divisions," Rojek said. According to the questionnaire, which was due back at RMG Nov. 8, agencies with experience in housewares and/or toy products will have an advantage.
Three or four finalists will be notified by Nov. 17. A decision is expected by year's end.
M&F's first campaign for Rubbermaid broke in February. The theme was: "Ideas that last." TV spots depicted household problems, with Rubbermaid as the solution.
Rubbermaid hoped the ads would reverse inroads into its market share made by smaller rivals such as Sterilite and Zeta Consumer Products.