Thompson, Earnhart & Associates of Fayetteville, Ark., has landed the marketing duties for Ben Israel Optical without a review.
Ben Israel operates 10 Sears Optical Centers in Alabama, Arkansas and Missouri. The account was previously handled by Stone & Ward in Little Rock, Ark.
The business was estimated at under $2 million by TE&A. Agency president Mike Thompson said his shop pursued the account aggressively because of its eagerness to move into the retail optical category.
Client representatives could not be reached at press time to discuss the agency search.
TE&A has been asked to develop a multimedia campaign that will include television, radio and print advertising, along with direct mail and promotional materials.
The retail optical category has become increasingly competitive of late. Analysts anticipate that chain stores will account for more than half of the $20 billion optical industry by the year 2000.
One major category player, Cleveland-based Cole National Corp., acquired Pearle Vision Centers and its 700-plus company and franchisee-owned stores last November. Cole also operates some of Sears' optical departments.
TE&A's first assignment for Ben Israel's Sears units was a regional back-to-school campaign promoting National Eye Exam Month.
"We went to them with some different creative thinking to get the account," Thompson said. "Our first creative uses humor to show the consequences of not having the proper eyewear." The initial work includes a television spot currently airing on cable stations in several markets.