Carpet Pros Go With Burnett

CHICAGO-Leo Burnett has been selected to handle the Carpet and Rug Institute’s account after a competition with crosstown rival DDB Needham. The win allowed Burnett a bit of retribution after losing creative control on the McDonald’s account to Needham a week earlier.
The CRI account is no remnant. The association, based in Dalton, Ga., said it intends to spend $100 million over four years on multimedia consumer programs to promote carpeting. Burnett will handle media planning and buying as well as creative development.
Dick Corelitz, ex-managing partner at Bozell here who joined CRI as marketing director earlier this year, said the group has plans to begin advertising in the fourth quarter.
It was close to a year ago that CRI officials confirmed they were going to fund the effort. The process of officially opening the review was delayed, first to give the institute time to raise the funds, and again to fill the position that went to Corelitz.
The institute represents carpet manufacturers and suppliers, he said, and it now will discuss ways it may want to augment or modify the campaign. CRI’s marketing is funded by member contributions tied to sales volume. If advertising boosts carpet sales, spending could exceed the planned budget of $25 million per year, Corelitz said.
The CRI win came as Burnett management was wrestling with the question of staff reductions in the wake of McDonald’s agency shift. It is anticipated that cutbacks will be announced soon.
Sources also said that agency chairman Rick Fizdale is examining ways to change the internal structure of account and creative department management in its U.S. operations. Those changes, which may be instituted within the next month, may alter Burnett’s culture, but not its core, said agency sources. -with staff reports