Barber Enters Faux Gem Trade

C3, producer of laboratory diamond moissanite, has named Barber Martin & Associates its new advertising agency after a two-month review.
The Richmond, Va., shop won the $1.5 million account over FGI of Chapel Hill, N.C.; Trone Advertising in High Point, N.C.; and Northlich Stolley LaWarre of Cincinnati. Barber Martin will direct both trade and consumer advertising, focusing initially on point-of-purchase and trade shows materials as it develops a complete marketing plan.
“We thought all four of the agencies made excellent presentations, but Barber Martin . . . stood out clearly from the rest of them,” said C3 marketing coordinator Angie Bailey.
“When they told us they’d hired us, the thing I kept hearing . . .was: ‘You guys get it, you have the business realities pegged. There are a lot of pretty ads out there, but you guys get it all,’ ” said agency president Bob Barber.
In a statement, Research Triangle Park, N.C.-based C3 also pointed to the agency’s previous retail jewelry and fashion experience. Barber Martin handles advertising for several regional accounts in both fields.
Previously, the account was at DDB Needham Dallas, which the client decided was too distant to optimize the business relationship, according to Richard French, president of Richard French and Associates, the public relations firm that conducted the search.
When DDB initially won the account, it was reported as a $5-10 million win. But as demand for the colorless gemstones outpaced supply, the figure was drastically reduced.
“They know they have to increase production to keep up with the demand,” Barber said. “They have told us that this could grow to a $5-8 million account.”
Separately, C3 said it has hired Lazin & Katalan Design Studio of New York to develop its logo and corporate look. The studio has previously created similar work for jewelry and fashion designers like Nina Ricci, Mikimoto and Ghurka.