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Energy-Bar Marketers Make Moves

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The rapid growth of the health-food energy bars market has led four companies to re-evaluate their advertising options.
Setting up a rematch between two of the finalists in the 1996 Acura review, Balance Bar Co. has named Suissa Miller, Los Angeles, and Deutsch/LA, Marina del Rey, to compete for its estimated $9 million account. The two were selected from a list of six initial contenders, said Jim Wolfe, president and CEO of the Carpenteria, Calif., company.
The agencies will make strategic presentations this week, with a decision expected by Oct. 30, said Wolfe. The incumbent, Buckley/Friedman Advertising and Public Relations in Costa Mesa, Calif., parted ways with the client last month.
Balance Bar is looking to target primarily the snack and meal replacement market, with a secondary emphasis on the athletic performance market, according to Wolfe.
Balance Bar competitor PowerBar has compiled a long list of San Francisco-area shops in the review for its $10-15 million account. The company is seeking a creative agency with packaged-goods and sports marketing experience, said a company representative. The Berkeley, Calif., company is expected to conduct an initial public offering next year and may prefer a nationally known advertising partner, sources said. The client recently split with Citron Haligman Bedecarrƒ, San Francisco, over "creative differences," said company officials. The winning agency is expected to continue to focus on the "athletic heritage" of PowerBar products. A decision is expected by early December.
Separately, Publicis & Hal Riney has split with Clif Bar, Berkeley, Calif., after eight months, and the client has moved its $3-5 million business in-house. Clif Bar may dish out work on a project basis to various shops in the future, said sources. In addition, sources said that healthy drink maker Odwalla, Half Moon Bay, Calif., has been talking with agencies in the Bay Area about its nutritional-bar account.--with Jane Irene Kell