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Lens Chain Eyes Local Agencies

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LOS ANGELES-Frame-n-Lens in Fullerton, Calif., is examining Southern California shops to handle its estimated $4 million ad account.
The incumbent, Italia/Gal Advertising in Los Angeles, recently resigned the account due to "philosophical differences" with the client, according to Ken Gal, the agency's president and chief executive officer. He declined to elaborate.
Italia/Gal had handled the account for the past four years. Most of the advertising during that time has been in print and on radio. The ads have touted the client as offering brand name frames at prices much lower than those of competing eyewear chains. Unlike its larger competitors, however, Frame-n-Lens does not have eye doctors at its stores.
Frame-n-Lens has enlisted Mike Agate of Select Resources International in Los Angeles to conduct the agency search.
The company is looking for a midsize or large Southern California shop, "where the account will be considered important," Agate said.
"They are looking to focus more of their efforts in the direct marketing arena," Agate said. "They are re-evaluating their media mix," he added.
Agate declined to say how long the search process will take and how many agencies will be contacted. A company representative said a decision is expected by the end of the year.
Frame-n-Lens is a retail chain of prescription eyewear stores. It has more than 290 locations inside and outside California.
The company spent $3.6 million on advertising in 1996, according to Competitive Media Reporting.