The breakneck pace of the dot-com ad world intensified in the home-furnishings category with about $65 million in three new assignments awarded last week.
Furniture.com tapped Bartle Bogle Hegarty in New York as its lead agency after considering two or three other undisclosed shops. BBH will kick off a campaign this fall using the bulk of $35 million in new financing recently obtained by Furniture.com, said Kirsten von Hassel, vice president of marketing at the company, based in Framingham, Mass. Donovan Group, the incumbent in Northborough, Mass., is being retained for project work. Donovan and Neil Faber Media, New York, broke the company's first national ads in June, a $5 million effort tagged, "The best way to shop for furniture."
Living.com in Austin, Texas, assigned its $20 million account to Leo Burnett and Starcom Worldwide last week. The company also considered McCann-Erickson in Houston and The Richards Group in Dallas. There was no incumbent. Client representative Lauren Williams said, "[Burnett] didn't just throw out a lot of ideas They had very specific targeted creative to give our consumers." The agency showed a good balance of technological and consumer insight, while also understanding the Austin, Texas, company's retail issues, she said.
Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, New York, will break a $10 million campaign for Newton, Mass.-based HomePortfolio in September. It was assigned the task of developing the upscale home-design site's first offline ads in June, said Bill Oberlander, executive creative director at the agency. There was no review.
"There are two issues with Internet companies: Getting presence before the competition and establishing a point of view before someone else can hijack it," said Oberlander of the speedy turnarounds that such clients typically demand of their shops.