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Gearon Tastes The Forbidden Fruit

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Rising Juice Maker Selects Boston Shop as First Agency of Record
BOSTON--Gearon Hoffman has been tapped to handle advertising for Apple & Eve following a two-month review.
Avrett, Free & Ginsberg in New York was the runner-up for the estimated $2-3 million account. About a half-dozen agencies from the Northeast, including Grybauskas Beatrice in New York, may have initially pitched the juice maker's business.
Gearon Hoffman becomes the first agency of record in the Roslyn, N.Y.-based client's 25-year history.
The win marks the first time the Boston shop, which claims $45 million in overall billings, has handled a non-alcoholic beverage account.
Gearon Hoffman is a former lead agency for Boston Beer Co.'s flagship Samuel Adams brand and currently develops ads for the brewer's HardCore cider product.
The shop has experience promoting newly launched or unfamiliar brands, including Duofold and Brown & Co. Securities. That background will be put to use for Apple & Eve.
The agency will create consumer television and radio spots, trade ads, online executions and support materials, according to agency president Bob Hoffman.
The media mix will consist primarily of broadcast ads, with an emphasis on spot buys in markets where the brand is a strong seller, including Florida, Washington, D.C., and the Northeast, Hoffman said. Ads will break in the fall.
The campaign will stress brand identity across all its flavors, including the fortified Tribal Tonics offering, in an effort to help Apple & Eve consolidate its position and maintain momentum, Hoffman said.
The privately held company projects fiscal 1998 sales of $62 million, a double-digit increase over the previous year, said Joan Segal, vice president of marketing at Apple & Eve.
Recent inroads made by Apple & Eve, Northland Cranberries in Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., and certain private label brands are seen by many in the industry as having pressured Ocean Spray Cranberries into launching its own line of 100 percent juices.
Ocean Spray is expected to support the introduction of the Wellfleet Farms brand with $12 million worth of advertising, potentially putting the squeeze on small competitors such as Apple & Eve. Boston-based Arnold Communications will handle creative chores for that introduction, which is slated for September.
"Against [large players such as] Ocean Spray, there are two choices," Hoffman said. "You hope the [positive growth] trend continues on the right course or you invest in making sure growth continues."