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Rebranding Bombay

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The Bombay Company has hired Publicis in Mid America for a brand makeover.

The Fort Worth, Texas-based client also held discussions with Tequila in San Francisco about the project. A budget was not disclosed.

The Dallas shop is charged with positioning the company, which has traditionally defined itself as a retailer of "classy, unique furniture and accessories," according to senior vice president of marketing Steve Farley. "I want to contemporize that," he said.

Bombay sells its products through catalogs, the Internet and more than 420 retail locations in 43 states and nine Canadian provinces.

The decision to rebrand comes as Bombay rebuilds its management team following the resignation of its chairman, president and chief executive, Carmie Mehrlander, in August.

In addition, the company is looking for new marketing strategies after a test last fall in which catalogs, its primary advertising vehicles, were replaced by newspaper ads and postcards. That idea proved ineffective, according to company documents.

"We saw a category that was growing, but a brand that wasn't," said agency chief marketing officer Phil Jacobs.

Publicis is currently researching how consumers perceive Bombay versus competitors like Crate & Barrel and Z Gallerie.

The client's internal creative team will initially handle print work that will reflect the new branding position, but Farley said he expects Publicis to "grow with us."

Bombay spent $2 million on media in 2001 and $1.7 million this year through July, according to CMR.