After beginning the year without an agency of record, Dallas-based PageNet has placed its estimated $5 million-plus account with The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va.
According to the client, PageNet officials had "researched" a handful of undisclosed agencies, but the account was never formally reviewed.
"We did a lot of homework," said PageNet's Scott Baradell. "Our CEO met directly with the CEO of Martin, and they felt there was a real chemistry there--ideas about where we wanted to go, our branding and how we'd go about it strategically."
PageNet's former agency, J. Walter Thompson in Chicago, resigned the business last November, saying the client had not expanded its service nationally as expected. The account was valued in excess of $10 million when it went to JWT, but through August 1997 only $1.5 million was allocated, per Competitive Media Reporting. For all of 1997, CMR reported PageNet spent $5.5 million.
Baradell would not state a budget, citing competitive pressures. He did say 1997 spending was not indicative of the amount earmarked for 1998 and beyond.
Why a five-month lag without an AOR relationship?
"We have been going through some changes internally that we felt were really important to our strategy going forward," Baradell said. "Branding is very important, and we have a real commitment to the value of advertising and working with a company like Martin. Our goal is to take this industry to the next level, and we've been doing a lot of work to achieve those goals."
The client is exploring ways of offering more information on its wireless pagers as a means of expanding its U.S. audience. For example, its partnership with cable's The Golf Channel offers up-to-the-minutes news about that sport to hard-core fans. It also has CNN news, sports and financial updates.
Initial ads will break this summer. Martin officials could not be reached for comment. The client had assigned a project last year to The Focus Agency in Dallas, but that shop was not under AOR consideration.
FOR MOMS WHO LET YOU BE YOU
Tinsley Advertising in Miami taps various spiritual philosophies in a Mother's Day spot for Mayor's Jewelers.
"Where would you be without your mother?" asks the voiceover in an Asian accent. The query is answered visually with a lone tree on a hill with a super that reads "Bob."
"Without her, there's no telling what you may have become," the voice continues, as images of a rock named "Rosa" and a blade of grass dubbed "Amy" appear on screen.
The voice then suggests showing Mom just how important she is with a gift from Mayor's: "Because without your mother, you wouldn't be you." Punctuating that point is a frog named "Stan."
"It's funny in a thoughtful way," explained Dorn Martell, Tinsley senior vice president and group creative director. He said the agency had several philosophies in mind as it worked on the spot, including Buddhism, Hinduism, animism, even Native American beliefs.
The ad breaks in Florida and Georgia markets later this month.--Katy Eckmann