America’s Best Eyeing 3 Agencies For Its $8 Mil. Optical Account

America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses is in the final stages of a review for its $8 million broadcast account, said Kelly Carter, the company’s vice president of marketing.
The value-oriented optical retailer has selected three finalists for the business, which includes broadcast creative, media buying and planning, Carter said. They are: W.B. Doner & Co. in Southfield, Mich.; Fogarty Klein & Partners in Houston; and Ingalls Advertising in Boston.
Print advertising–also with a budget of about $8 million–is handled in-house, but it is possible that the new agency may ultimately be assigned that business as well, Carter said.
“We’re looking for a combination of a strong retail agency that understands brand development and the challenges of maintaining retail sales on a day-to-day basis while we’re building that brand,” Carter said. “We need an agency who can work with America’s Best today, who we’re going to be in 18 months, and who we plan to be in 3-5 years.”
The review began about a month ago when America’s Best sent out requests for proposals to about 50 agencies nationwide with the help of consultant Martin A. Kramer and Strategic Marketing Services in Philadelphia, Carter said.
Final presentations are scheduled for the week of Dec. 15, and a decision is expected by the end of December, he said.
America’s Best, headquartered in Pennsauken, N.J., outside Philadelphia, is one of the nation’s largest retailers of prescription eyewear and contact lenses, with revenues of more than $100 million and 92 outlets in 23 states across the country. The retailer was acquired in April by Consolidated Vision Group, which also operates Texas State Optical and its 112 stores.
Gleason/Calise Associates in Dallas has been the interim agency for America’s Best since the acquisition by CVG, Carter said. But that shop opted not to participate in the review.
–with Judy Warner and Steve Krajewski