King Arthur Flour has returned its advertising account to DiBona, Bornstein & Random here. The Norwich, Vt.-based client had moved its business to the Hayes Group in Williston, Vt., earlier this year [Adweek, March 9].
The relationship with the Hayes Group yielded no advertising the client could use, however, so "we fired them" and returned the business to DiBona, Bornstein, according to Ellen Davies, vice president of sales and marketing at King Arthur Flour.
Davies declined to discuss specific points of contention between King Arthur Flour and the Hayes Group. Agency president Matt Hayes did not return calls by press time.
DiBona, Bornstein is charged with creating and placing a broadcast-based campaign promoting King Arthur Flour and related baking products to consumers, Davies said.
That campaign is now in the early planning stages and is expected to break sometime next year, Davies said. The budget is in the seven figures and the effort will likely include spot television buys in select markets nationwide, she said.
The objective of the campaign will be to reposition the client from a mainly regional player to one that competes with national brands such as Gold Medal and Pillsbury.
Prior to shifting the account to the Hayes Group, King Arthur Flour had been with DiBona, Bornstein for nearly 10 years and was the first client ever handled by the 17-person agency.
The initial bond between DiBona, Bornstein and King Arthur Flour was forged by Robert Weiss, husband of agency partner Joyce DiBona, who had served on King Arthur Flour's board of directors Weiss has not held that post for several years, however, and Davies said the account was returned to the shop based on the quality of its past work.
Neither the client nor the agency ever offered an explanation for the assignment of the business to the Hayes Group. That shop lost a packaged-goods client earlier this year when Winslow's Gourmet Coffee in Malden, Mass., moved its $2 million account to RDW Group in Providence, R.I.
That defection came shortly after Hayes Group creative director Ken Millman and art director Jon Shelton departed to set up a creative boutique called Spike Advertising in Burlington, Vt.