Eight O’Clock Lists Creative Contenders

NEW YORK Eight O’Clock Coffee has compiled a list of 12 contenders for creative duties on its estimated $7 million advertising account, sources said. Those shops will submit a detailed request for information by April 2.

From that list, six shops will meet with the Montvale, N.J., client. Following that, two or three finalists will be given a creative assignment, sources said.

David Allen, client director of marketing, said he expects to have an agency partner selected by May. Roth Associates is managing the review.

Gryphon Investors in San Francisco purchased the brand in December from A&P for about $105 million. In January, the client said it planned to become a national brand with a national ad campaign.

Independent DeVito/Verdi in New York was the last lead creative agency for the brand, winning the business in 1999, but Eight O’Clock Coffee has been working on recent projects with the St. Louis office of Havas’ Arnold. The client has said New York-based Roth has contacted agencies in the New York area. Neither the client nor consultant could be reached for comment.

Less than $1 million was spent advertising the brand in 2003, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus, but client executives have said spending will be significantly higher over the next year.