Helzberg Selects Doner Amid EPB Financial Woes

The weakened financial condition of Panoramic Communications’ Earle Palmer Brown led Helzberg Diamonds to shift its$10 million account to Doner following a review, a client executive said.

“We needed to find a partner with deep understanding of retail that was financially sound,” said John Goodman, Helzberg’s svp of marketing and customer service.

EPB in New York held the ac-count for five years. The shop has been struggling financially; earlier this month Arnold, Boston, absorbed most of the staff and clients of EPB, Bethesda, Md. Other personnel from that office are expected to shift to Arnold McGrath in New York.

EPB, which has completed holiday work for Helzberg, participated in the review against Doner, Southfield, Mich.; Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis; and The Richards Group, Dallas, for the Kansas City, Mo., jeweler’s account.

Media planning and buying, previously at Media Marketing Solutions, New York, also went to Doner, Goodman said.

“Originally, media was not part of the review, but they liked our strategic planning and our research of the jewelry market so much that they decided to give us the whole thing,” said Barbara Yolles, evp and group account director at Doner.

Agencies were given a case study from which they devised a business strategy, Goodman said. Even though creative was not requested, Doner presented concepts centered around Helzberg’s reputation for service, Yolles said.

Doner will begin work for Helzberg on Nov. 1.

Helzberg plans to launch EPB’s holiday campaign by the end of November, Goodman said. Radio and outdoor ads feature ESPN SportsCenter co-hosts Rich Eisen and Linda Cohen and are targeted at male gift-givers. “Their humorous personalities sympathize with the difficult experience of shopping at Christmas time,” Goodman said about the radio spots.

The campaign continues the tag, “If it comes from the heart, shouldn’t it come from Helzberg Diamonds?”