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Sub-Zero Sparks Hunt

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Sub-Zero Refrigerator Co. is contacting agencies about what it claims is an $8-10 million advertising account, sources said.

The Madison, Wis., company has contacted agencies in the Midwest and Southwest about its account, sources said. Paul Leuthe, the company's corporate marketing manager who is believed to be running the review, did not return phone calls by press time.

Incumbent agency Kerker Marketing Communications in Minneapolis will defend the business, agency officials said. The shop, has held the account since 1996.

Kerker broke a campaign earlier this year that depicted off-beat characters tailoring the contents of the high-end refrigerators to their lives.

One execution showed a woman in a yoga position with cucumber slices on her eyes. Behind her, the Sub-Zero was filled with cucumbers. The headline "It's your room. Do what you want in it," was the only text used in the ads.

A previous campaign from Kerker emphasized the refrigerator's mystique, using photos of notables such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Mae West and Amelia Ear-hart with headlines such as, "Because I want to."

Sub-Zero also recently named Kerker the agency of record for its Wolf Gourmet brand of residential ranges and cook tops. It was unknown if the review would encompass that brand as well.

Sub-Zero only spent $2.2 million on advertising last year, according to Competitive Media Reporting. Sources at contacted agencies, however, said the account was being billed as worth $8-10 million.