Cone Bolsters Consumer Marketing Operation

Do-Gooders Take On Assignments From Lids, Nordica, Others
BOSTON–Looking to avoid being pigeonholed as a cause-related marketing firm, Cone has been eager to promote its consumer marketing practice. And it seems to be working.
The Boston-based public relations shop has earned some new assignments that have it doing, among other things, creating ads.
“I used to tell clients that what we don’t do is 30-second TV spots and four-color print ads, but now we do,” said president Jens Bang. “I can no longer say that, but really our intent is not to become [like] Hill, Holliday.”
Lids, which weeks ago appointed Cone to handle public relations, has expanded the scope of that assignment to include its online and offline marketing. As a result, an agency review initiated in July by the Westfield, Mass.-based hat retailer has been handed over to Cone. Lids’ last ad agency of record was Lane Advertising in Marblehead, Mass. Cone is in the process of interviewing independent creative and media professionals to subcontract those services to Cone.
The shop has a similar arrangement with Barbour, a U.K.-based outerwear company. In fact, Cone oversaw print ads and a 30-second TV spot that appeared on ESPN.
Nordica, where Bang worked prior to joining Cone two years ago, has tapped the agency’s consumer marketing practice for media relations. Owned by Benetton Sports Systems in Bordantown, N.J., Nordica had worked with Cone on cause-related initiatives.
In addition, Cone has added media relations and event marketing assignments from the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association, Fit for All, and Strida North America, a division of BikeLink International.
The 73-person shop is on track to grow about 25 percent in 1999, winding up with projected revenues of $9 million, according to Bang.