Fountainhead Pringle Gets Vista Division
ATLANTA--The newly merged Fountainhead Pringle Dixon Prin-gle's first client is the in-store unit of Vista Eyecare, worth $7 million.
Fountainhead Pringle topped one other finalist for the Lawrenceville, Ga., business, Bennett Kuhn Varner. Both Atlanta shops outlasted two other area agencies: 360 and Fitzgerald & Co.
Vista's director of marketing Kris Felling said she was impressed with Fountainhead, which originally pitched the business. It was the addition of Pringle's resources that pushed the agency over the top.
"They had a very strong creative plan to begin with," said Felling. "But with the merger to Pringle Dixon Pringle, the added public relations benefits to the company just increased their value to us."
"This is immediate validation," said Fountainhead Pringle chief executive officer Doug Warner. "The timing of the merger was perfect to introduce the Pringle team to the pitch and [their] credibility and experience really made the difference."
"It's a good sign of things to come," said creative director Jim Pringle. "We've got some other things in the fire that are looking good."
Vista's in-store vision center business is made up of eyecare facilities within Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores. Last week Vista's freestanding stores hired Kovel/Fuller in Los Angeles [Adweek, Sept. 20] for the $9 million portion of the account.
Felling said the in-store centers would have no new creative until first-quarter 2000. The freestanding stores are already testing television ads in select markets, with a national effort to break next month.