Bates Is The Envi Of Others

Acquires $10 Mil.-Plus Packaged-Goods Business
DALLAS–Bates Southwest in Houston scored a $10 million-plus account win last week when it was named agency of record for a personal care products firm.
IQ Products Co. of Houston hired Bates to supply the first major advertising and promotional work behind its three-year-old Envi line, which includes shampoos, hair sprays, shaving creams and approximately 60 other items, according to company chief executive officer Yohanne Gupta.
“We have distribution in Wal-Mart and various other retail merchants” like Wal-Green drugstores, said Gupta. “Our skin care, baby care and nail care products are just being launched.”
Gupta said an annual marketing budget of $10 million, not including promotions, is planned. IQ selected Bates over The Richards Group, Dallas, which Gupta termed a “close second.” Also considered were Bozell Worldwide and Dailey & Associates, both Los Angeles; D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, St. Louis; and Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis, according to Gupta.
Agency chairman Jerry Kerr said assignments include media, creative print and collateral. The client is undecided on television. Kerr said Bates will tap creative resources in its network, including New York, to assist on the account.
“Our job is to build Envi as the superbrand” before concentrating on individual lines, Kerr told Adweek. “And we have to be very cognizant of supporting distribution.”
The new business gives Bates Southwest an intro to the national packaged-goods arena, fitting in with Kerr’s plans to diversify the office. He said Bates came to IQ’s attention through its experience with Houston start-ups Belmont Corp. and Equistar.
Gupta said a key market in 1999 for Envi will be in California, where stringent Environmental Protection Agency guidelines will force aerosol product manufacturers to meet new air quality standards. IQ said it alone has developed a compliant technology in the hair spray category.