Gem Maker Changes Setting

C3, a North Carolina-based producer of laboratory diamond moissanite, has appointed Barber Martin & Associates its new advertising agency after a two-month review.
The Richmond, Va., shop won the $1.5 million account over FGI of Chapel Hill, N.C.; Trone Advertising in High Point, N.C.; and Northlich Stolley LaWarre of Cincinnati.
Barber Martin will direct both trade and consumer advertising, focusing initially on point-of-purchase and trade shows materials as it develops a complete marketing plan.
The account had been at DDB Needham Dallas. The client decided that working with a Texas shop was not conducive to an optimal business relationship, said Richard French, president of Richard French & Associates. RF&A is the public relations firm that conducted the search.
“We thought all four of the agencies made excellent presentations, but Barber Martin . . . stood out clearly from the rest of them,” said Angie Bailey, a marketing coordinator at C3
“When they told us they’d hired us, the thing I kept hearing . . . was: ‘You guys get it, you have the business realities pegged.
“There are a lot of pretty ads out there, but you guys get it all,’ ” said agency president Bob Barber.
In a statement, Research Triangle Park, N.C.-based C3 also pointed to the agency’s previous retail jewelry and fashion experience. Barber Martin handles advertising for several regional accounts in both fields.
When DDB Needham Dallas initially won the account, it was reported as a $5-10 million win. But as demand for the colorless gemstones outpaced supply, the figure was drastically reduced.
“They know they have to increase production to keep up with the demand,” Barber said. “They have told us that this could grow to a
$5-8 million account.”