Refer.com Favors Hill, Holliday | Adweek Refer.com Favors Hill, Holliday | Adweek
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Refer.com Favors Hill, Holliday

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Monster.com, which is in the final phase of a $75-90 million agency review, isn't the only job site looking to make a splash through its advertising.

Refer.com, a Cambridge, Mass. startup, has begun breaking its first brand campaign from Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos.

In a related development, Kevin Samuels, an art director, joins Hill, Holliday next week as a senior vice president and group creative director, working with senior vice president and copywriter Spencer Deadrick on the Refer.com account as well as on FleetBoston and the Boston Herald. Samuels had been with Saatchi & Saatchi, San Francisco, working on Hewlett-Packard, Old Spice and other accounts.

"One of our goals at Hill, Holliday is to assemble a first-class team of creative [professionals] who have the experience to both produce outstanding work and mentor younger people," said Mike Sheehan, the agency's co-president and chief creative officer. "Kevin is going to help us on both these scores."

The Boston agency, which added the seven-figure Re-fer.com account several weeks ago, uses lines such as "Your friend gets a new job. You get $1,000. Everybody wins" in ads targeting consumers.

Efforts aimed at the human resources industry are tagged "Let the world recruit for you."

Radio and print are being used; TV is not part of the current plan.

Executions will run mainly in the Northeast for the next several months. Ads may roll out on a larger scale in 2001, said Emily Porter, the firm's vice president of marketing.

The campaign from Hill, Holliday is designed to educate consumers and companies about the client's business model, generate visits to the site and help make the company name more of a known commodity, Porter said.

Refer.com charges companies a fee for listings on its Web site and offers cash incentives starting at $1,000 for employee referrals that result in successful hires.

While consumers may be attracted by the incentives, employers may wish to work with the service because it charges "substantially less" than the 20-30 percent of annual salary required by many headhunters, Porter said.

The company is launching its first large-scale campaign in the face of heated competition from the likes of Monster.com, Maynard, Mass., and HotJobs.com. Even so, client officials are banking on their "definitely different business model" to attract visitors, Porter said.