Money Dispute Causes Lois, Client Breakup

NEW YORK – A disagreement over the agency’s fee has led Lois/EJL and client Slomin’s to part company. Agency principal George Lois and client director of sales and marketing Gene Spagnola last week confirmed the split.
Spagnola said there are five New York agencies vying for creative and media planning responsibilities on the $15 million account. He declined to identify the contenders, but noted that they all claim billings of about $300 million.
Slomin’s is looking for a new shop to develop an integrated direct response campaign including TV, print and radio advertising. Teletime in Jericho, N.Y., handles media buying.
Incumbent Lois/EJL’s contract expires in July. The New York shop has handled the business for the past three years.
Agencies met with the client last week. Speculative creative assignments are due back to the client in June.
Hicksville, N.Y.-based Slomin’s sets itself apart from competitors in the $10 billion home security industry such as ADT by offering its system for free. Consumers pay Slomin’s to monitor the alarm. The company claims to have signed up 50,000 customers on Long Island alone since opening its 1-800-Alarm-Me line in 1980. Slomin’s Shield service is available in New York, Baltimore and Philadelphia.
Lois/EJL’s TV campaign for the client features kitschy superhero Alarmo, who appears in both animated and live-action form. One spot depicts Alarmo catching house burglars. Others center on children extolling the virtues of the security system. The tagline: “Alarmo lives to protect your home and family. Call 1-800-Alarm-Me now.”