Eveready Is Searching for Juice

Battery Maker Talking to Shops About a Global Product Launch
CHICAGO–Eveready Battery Co. is launching a global search for a shop to handle a new Energizer product, sources said.
The search will include four to six global agencies, including Energizer roster shops from around the world, according to sources. TBWA/Chiat/Day and Bates Worldwide, which handle Energizer’s creative duties in the U.S. and Europe, respectively, have both been invited to pitch, said sources. DDB Worldwide and Leo Burnett are also believed to be involved.
The review could spell trouble for TBWA/C/D since the winner of the new business will handle ad duties both in the U.S. and overseas. While there is no indication the Energizer Bunny campaign is running out of steam, TBWA/C/D is on alert over the new search, sources said. The agency is currently in production on new ads. In the U.S., TBWA/C/D handles creative duties while Advanswers in St. Louis handles media buying. Executives at the Playa del Rey, Calif.-based agency declined comment last week.
Spending behind the new global assignment was not available. Eveready spent more than $60 million in the U.S. last year on its Energizer and Eveready brands.
David Hatfield, vice president of marketing at the St. Louis-based Eveready is spearheading the review. Hatfield reports to Randy Rose, who was named vice president of sales and marketing in June.
Rose previously was evp, worldwide customer development at Ralston-Purina Pet Products. Ralston said it plans to spin off Eveready as a separate company next year.
Hatfield was not available for comment. An Energizer representative said, “At this time there are no specific plans to launch any new products or replace any current advertising or marketing partners.” The representative added that as the company completes its spinoff from Ralston, it will look to expand its marketing efforts.
The Energizer Bunny is an advertising icon but has not borne healthy sales growth as of late, as Eveready has been losing ground to category leader Duracell.
–with Michael McCarthy