By Trevor Jensen
CHICAGO--New management at AR Accessories Group has led to an agency change, with Cramer-Krasselt in Milwaukee picking up the billfold maker's $1-3 million business from crosstown rival Laughlin/Constable.
For more than 80 years, the company was known as Amity Leather Products and was a fixture in West Bend, Wis. Purchased last year by an investment group, it was renamed AR Accessories, underwent a management overhaul and now plans to relocate some operations to Milwaukee in August.
AR Accessories reassigned the ad business to C-K from Laughlin/Constable, also Milwaukee, without a review. C-K had made itself known to the new management through mailings, which led to meetings and the account switch.
Last year Amity spent $1.5 million to advertise leather goods under the Amity and Rolf names, according to Competitive Media Reporting. That figure may rise as AR Accessories weighs new product lines, with C-K expected to play a role. 'We gave them a lot of ideas,' said C-K executive vice president and director of client services Paul Bentley.
AR Accessories makes and markets men's wallets and women's pocketbooks, key cases, letter cases and travel accessories.
C-K's record in brand development was instrumental to winning the business, said Jeanne Timber, AR Accessories vice president of sales and marketing. 'We have a high
frequency of launches and repositionings, so we turned to C-K for its strength in branding strategy.'
Consumer advertising for brands under AR Accessories has previously been confined to the print realm. C-K's duties will run the gamut, from public relations to point-of-purchase and promotions work.
Manufacturing will stay in West Bend while marketing and other functions will move to a new Milwaukee headquarters. The new ownership wants to expand the product lines. 'It's a whole new team kind of rethinking their brand structure,' said C-K chairman Paul Counsell.
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