Three shops have emerged as contenders for the creative assignment of Infinium Software.
Readying final presentations are Gearon Hoffman, Boston; Philip Johnson Associates, Cambridge, Mass.; and Toth Design & Advertising, Concord, Mass., said Claudia Mahoney, manager of creative services at the Hyannis, Mass., client.
A decision is slated for mid-September. Media chores remain with Carat Freeman, Newton, Mass.
Infinium is seeking a shop to execute branding and product campaigns in technology publications and on the Web, Mahoney said.
Gearon Hoffman and Philip Johnson both have considerable business-to-business acumen. Toth is something of a wild card, best known for fashion-oriented consumer ads for Tommy Hilfiger. "Toth comes at it from a different direction" that may be adaptable to the technology marketplace, Mahoney said.
Mahoney declined to discuss budget numbers, but said spending is likely to substantially increase next year compared with previous levels. One source estimated probable spending in the $2-3 million range.
The client chose Harpell/Martins & Co., to handle creative duties barely three months ago. During its brief stay at Harpell/Martins, the account was believed to be worth less than $1 million in overall billings. The two parted ways after the shop picked up conflicting business from Best Software in Reston, Va. [Adweek, July 27].
The $5 million Best Software account is the largest single piece of business ever won by the agency, which handles both creative and media chores for the Best! Imperative product line, said Harpell/Martins representative Laura Bendon.
Infinium understood the agency's desire to pursue a larger account and described the parting as amicable, Mahoney said.
One recent print ad for Infinium from Harpell/Martins used a photo of a rotting fish and the headline, "How valuable is financial data that's 30 days old?"