Clarke Wins ClosetMaid’s Creative, Media Buying

Clarke Advertising & Public Relations has acquired the $3.5 million account of ClosetMaid.

The Sarasota, Fla., shop will provide television and print advertising, media buying, promotions and public relations for the client’s consumer, trade and e-commerce initiatives.

Clarke’s team, led by chief operating officer Bill Pierson, bested 17- year incumbent The Lipphardt Agency and Peak Biety, both in Tampa, Fla., HMS Hallmark in Pittsburgh and an undisclosed shop. The review, precipitated by the death of Bill Lipphardt last December, took more than five months.

“We realized it was time to bring in some new creative and Internet expertise,” said Craig Moeller, ClosetMaid’s vice president of marketing. “We wanted chemistry and a strong public relations department as well as a team of good strategic thinkers.”

According to Moeller, ClosetMaid, which makes and markets home storage and wire shelving units, wanted a shop with a strong production department to handle point-of-sale displays, in-store promotions and co-branding programs with its largest retail clients, Ace Hardware, Home Depot, Lowe’s and Wal-Mart.

“It’s great when agencies win creative awards, but I’m more interested in what they can do for sales,” Moeller said.

Agency president Tim Clarke said his team’s pitch showcased case histories, including its work for window and door supplier PGT Industries and Vitality Beverages.

Broadcast efforts, expected to break in January on national cable and spot TV, will focus on ClosetMaid alone. “The target is people with messy closets,” said Pierson, describing the primary demo as women who make home product purchases and men interested in house and garage storage.

“What’s intriguing is the relationship between the client and its home improvement stores,” he added. “There are incredibly loyal customers at Lowe’s and Home Depot.” The shop will develop database marketing programs and Web links to the retail chains.

Previous print ads were limited to shelter magazines such as Better Homes and Gardens and trades like Builder Digest of California.

Headquartered in Ocala, Fla., ClosetMaid is a division of Emerson Electric Co. of St. Louis.