Mall Follows Siena Hotel to FGI

FGI of Chapel Hill, N.C., was named agency of record last week for two local accounts, totaling more than $1 million in combined billings.
Both properties are managed by Plaza Associates in Raleigh, N.C. The Siena Hotel, rated four diamonds by the American Automobile Association and named the Research Triangle Park, N.C., area’s “Poshest Hotel” by Fortune, will employ FGI’s positioning, creative work, research and media placement.
The second property is the Crabtree Valley Mall, a 1.3 million square foot indoor center with more than 200 retailers ranging from major department stores like Lord & Taylor and Sears to specialty shops like Papyrus and P.F. Chang. FGI will handle advertising, media planning and promotions.
Representatives for FGI would not divulge each account’s billings, but said the cumulative worth was more than seven figures annually. Area real estate sources indicated that the hotel would bill around $250,000 per year, with the mall adding about $850,000.
According to Julie Cusatis, director of marketing for Siena, the hotel had been doing its advertising in-house, but “things were starting to get beyond our grasp.” FGI was slated to pitch against several other agencies, but after presenting, “it was immediately clear that they were head and shoulders above everybody else,” said Cusatis. “The other agencies . . . seemed more like order takers, as opposed to coming up with the heart of a position and moving in a direction.”
According to Cusatis, Plaza Associates vice president Neil Rudolph, who sat in on the Siena presentation, was so impressed by FGI he subsequently contacted the agency about taking on the mall account as well. Rudolph was not available for comment.