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Pez Chooses Cronin for Direct

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Pez Candy has retained Cronin & Co. for direct marketing chores, marking the second time in just three weeks that the agency has been tapped by a well-known consumer client.

Cronin picks up the business following a review of undisclosed agencies in the Northeast.

The shop will create consumer direct marketing materials for the 74-year-old Orange, Conn.-based manufacturer of bite-sized candy and signature plastic product dispensers. Pez's products often tie in with movies, TV shows, cartoons and other elements of popular culture. The budget for Cronin was not disclosed.

Media advertising will not be included in the mix but will be handled—as it has been for 18 years—by Essertier & Braverman, Fairfield, Conn.

Pez selected Glastonbury, Conn.-based Cronin because of its diversity of experience with a variety of clients, said marketing director Bud Damberg. The shop's work for Northeast Utilities, set in a yogurt factory, was especially impressive. "They turned [the marketing pitch] into entertainment," Damberg said. "If they can make a yogurt factory look fun, I imagine they can do something for Pez, too."

The assignment will be national in scope, but both client and agency declined to discuss specifics.

Though the agency has not worked on confectionary accounts specifically, it boasts a wealth of food and beverage experience, including work for Subway, TCBY Yogurt and Yukon Jack.

"It's a great brand name and a very fun category," said agency president Bill Cronin.

Pez represents an important new account for the agency's direct marketing department, which was created in 1999 through Cronin's acquisition of Synergy Marketing Solutions. Other direct clients include TriZetto Software and Vytra Health Plans.

The win comes on the heels of the shop's addition of advertising and promotional chores for Bertucci's Brick Oven Pizzeria, a piece of business handled by the agency's Boston office, known as Cronin/Wallwork Curry.