5 Seek Washington Apple Account

Five Seattle shops are bobbing for the Washington State Apple Commission’s creative and media account.

They are: Cole & Weber/Red Cell, DDB, Foote, Cone & Belding, J. Walter Thompson and Publicis, the client confirmed last week. Sedgwick Rd., which handled the account for 14 years, is not defending it.

The group, based in Wen atchee, named a new president last year. “When they end up with new leadership and want to look at new opportunities, that’s a position an agency doesn’t want to be in,” said Sedgwick Rd. president Jim Walker.

The account was worth approximately $15 million in each of the last three years while growers tried to boost consumption as the size of their crop grew, said Tom Swearingen, client ad director. The budget under new president Welcome Sauer is expected to be at least $2 million and could climb to $5 million.

“For the last several years, the business has been relatively unprofitable to the growers of Washington state apples,” Swear ingen said. “We’ve changed our strategy from heavy consumer advertising to heavy retail promotions.”

More than 10 shops responded to the RFP. Presentations for the five finalists are Aug. 7. A decision is due shortly thereafter. Sedgwick Rd. will work on the account through August.

Sedgwick Rd. fashioned TV, radio and outdoor ads and retail promotions for the client. Recent ads were tagged “The best apples on Earth” and showed the “Apple Guy” riding around rescuing weary citizens with a crisp, juicy Washington apple.