DDB, Fitzgerald Advance to Varilux Finals

Winner of Dallas-Atlanta Duel Gets Essilor’s $15 Mil. Budget
DALLAS–Essilor of America has named two finalists in the review for the $15 million consumer portion of its Varilux lenses ad account, industry sources said last week.
Going head-to-head in the final round will be DDB in Dallas and Fitzgerald & Co. in Atlanta.
Officials at both agencies were not available to comment at press time late last week.
Sheila Durante, director of public relations and corporate communications for Dallas-based Essilor, also declined to reveal the identity of the finalists or comment on the status of the review. “We have nothing to announce at the present time,” Durante said.
Thirteen agencies were contacted in the initial phase of the Varilux review and asked to submit credentials. A final decision is expected by the end of this month.
Shops eliminated from the competition include Adair- Greene Advertising, Austin Kelley Advertising, BBDO South, J. Walter Thompson, Ogilvy & Mather and WestWayne, all in Atlanta; The Richards Group in Dallas; Temerlin McClain in Irving, Texas; and Jordan, McGrath, Case & Partners and D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, both in New York.
The Kane Consulting Group in Atlanta is conducting the agency review. Company principal Bob Kane was also unavailable to comment.
Essilor previously worked with The St. George Group in Pittsburgh as its agency of record.
Essilor’s Varilux division makes and markets lenses designed for people with presbyopia, a hardening of the eye’s crystalline lens. That condition, caused by advancing age, makes it difficult to focus on nearby objects. Varilux’s Instant Focus System product allows the wearer to see near, far and in between without distracting lines. The product is marketed to doctors and other professionals in the optical field.
Essilor of America is a subsidiary of the $1.5 billion optical products company Essilor International, which is headquartered in Paris. Product managers and strategic directors for the Varilux brand are based in Florida.