Pedone & Partners has won 1-800-Flowers.com's $20-30 million creative account. Incumbent Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners did not defend the business.
The review took place before the arrival of chief marketing officer Jerry Noonan. "When you have an IPO, you make a commitment to the shareholders to spend X amount of advertising dollars," said Mike Pedone, president of the New York agency. "I think they couldn't wait."
1-800-Flowers added ".com" to its name to coincide with its initial public offering earlier this month, which raised $126 million.
The agency shift came as no surprise to Kirshenbaum, which had considered the account "dormant." CEO Jonathan Bond said, "We haven't done anything with them" since the beginning of the year.
The client spent only about $7 million last year and less than $1 million through May 1999, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
In addition, sources said 1-800-Flowers had owed money for media costs. Tom Eley, director of sales and marketing at 1-800-Flowers, said that was "not true" and added that he expects to work with Kirshenbaum again. Bond said, "We've resolved our outstanding financial issues."
Kirshenbaum landed the account in March 1998, besting fellow New York shops Cliff Freeman and Partners and Fallon McElligott. At the time, annual billings were estimated at $17 million. Kirshenbaum's TV and print ads, shot in Holland and Africa, positioned the Westbury, N.Y., company as the source of the freshest, most exotic bouquets.
Pedone creative director Tom Cook said, "They needed somebody who would give them a defined image." Cook added the agency is now working on an "interim, tactical campaign" to run through the end of the year.