Furniture Rivals to Seat Shops

Two top office furniture companies are poised to name new agencies for advertising efforts, company officials confirmed.

Executives from Herman Miller of Zeeland, Mich., met with officials from three or four Chicago area shops earlier this month, a company official said. A decision is expected shortly.

The company’s last recorded spending by Competitive Media Re-porting was $2 million in 1998. However, a company representative said a return to more substantial spending is planned.

There is no incumbent agency, as “the company has worked with different creative shops in different segments of the business,” said Mark Schurman, another company representative.

The leader in the office furniture category and thus one of Miller’s chief rival’s, Steelcase, is also expected to name a new agency of record for its $5-10 million account shortly. The Grand Rapids, Mich., furniture maker is deciding between BBDO and Martin/Williams, both in Minneapolis, according to sources.

Steelcase’s director of advertising Allan Smith, confirmed the review and said the company’s current agency of record, the Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., is not participating.

Biggs/Gilmore Communications in Kalamzoo, Mich., will continue to handle dealer promotions for Steelcase, according to Smith an an agency representative.

Officials at BBDO and Martin/Williams declined comment.

While Steelcase leads the category, Herman Miller and Haworth, based in Holland, Mich., fight it out for the number two position.