Client Referrals Buoy Freebairn

Client referrals have brought three accounts to Freebairn & Co. The new business will generate a combined $7 million in billings, according to agency president John Freebairn.

The referrals came from both current and former clients, including a board member of the Atlanta agency’s pro-bono account, the Center for Puppetry Arts.

Freebairn was invited to compete against four undisclosed Southeastern shops in an account review conducted Alexis PlaySafe, a division of the Warren Featherbone Co. in Gainesville, Ga., because of its category experience with Georgia-based YKK Zippers.

“We showed them how we turned brands around or accelerated sales,” said Freebairn. “There was no instant solution and they didn’t ask for one.”

Freebairn will develop a national marketing campaign for My Pool Pal, Alexis PlaySafe’s line of children’s swimwear products. The shop will also handle the launch of a new line of infant giftware.

“[My Pool Pal is] being marketed nationally through department and specialty stores,” said Freebairn. “Our charge is to make it a better-known product.”

The agency will tout the swimsuit/floatation product’s safety features. “Mom’s are relating very strongly to this,” Freebairn said.

Work will include print and Internet advertising scheduled to break in early 2003. Print will run in magazines such as Parents.

The agency’s background in agricultural products led to its relationship with Griffin in Valdosta, Ga. The company, a subsidiary of Du-Pont, manufactures insecticides and herbicides used in crop and turf protection applications.

“There are so many mergers and consolidations in the industry,” said Freebairn. “One of our old clients wound up working [at Griffin] and our name came up.”

Print advertising for the business-to-business account will target farmers and agricultural dealers and distributors. “When you’re selling a considered purchase, there’s still a lot of emotion directed to the end user,” Freebairn said.

Skylight Financial of Atlanta chose Freebairn to develop a corporate marketing program. The client supplies “non-banked” individuals with bank cards that can be used at ATMs and retailers.

Ads will target human resources managers in industries such as manufacturing and healthcare where an estimated 5-10 percent of employees do not have traditional bank accounts, according to Freebairn.