FTD, Ftd.com Both Seek an Agency

Former Splits With Doner; Latter’s IPO Expected to Pump Spending
CHICAGO-FTD Corp.’s Internet-based spinoff, Ftd.com, plans to spend the “predominant portion” of an estimated $90 million raised in an initial stock offering on advertising and promotions, and is reportedly looking for an agency to handle the cash, the company and sources said last week.
Also, FTD is expected to hand what has been a $16 million account to a new shop, having split with Doner, Southfield, Mich., according to sources. Doner handled creative and media buying.
A representative at the Downers Grove, Ill.-based floral service declined to confirm any agency changes or reviews. The representative did say FTD and Ftd.com will probably retain separate agencies. Prior to the IPO, Ftd.com was a subsidiary of FTD.
Ftd.com’s president and chief executive officer is Michael J. Soenen, previously a vice president in marketing at FTD. Soenen could not be reached for comment by press time.
Doner won the FTD business in a June 1997 review after it was resigned by Grey Advertising in New York. Other shops in that review were DiNoto Lee in New York, Foote Cone & Belding in Chicago, Meldrum & Fewsmith Advertising in Cleveland, D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles in Troy, Mich., and J. Walter Thompson in Detroit.
Doner’s tag for the company was “Some of life’s best moments come FTD,” a line delivered in the agency’s first campaign by longtime FTD spokesman Merlin Olsen.
FTD’s logo is used by some 20,000 florists in North America and 54,000 worldwide. The company said it expects to capitalize on its well-known winged-foot Mercury logo, which is familiar to generations of flower buyers.
Doner in December was awarded FTD’s collateral duties following a review. The business was previously handled by several agencies, including Partners & Simons in Boston and the Detroit office of Young & Rubicam’s Wunderman Cato Johnson unit. ƒ