Online Store Makes Contact




Furniture.com Breaks Ads, “Explores’ Agency Options
BOSTON-As Furniture.com prepares to launch its first national branding campaign, the Worcester, Mass.-based client has begun contacting shops about handling an expanded ad account.
The Donovan Group in Northborough, Mass., and Neil Faber Media in New York teamed up on the print and radio effort, which touts the online retailer as “The best way to shop for furniture.” Backed by an estimated $3-5 million media budget, the ads are slated to break this month in a dozen metropolitan markets, said agency president Michael Donovan.
“We’re very happy” with both Donovan and Faber, said Brian Oren, Furniture.com’s director of marketing, who joined the company about a month ago after spending eight years at The Gillette Co. The client simply wants to gauge whether other resources can help “take us to the next level,” he said.
However, Furniture.com is keeping its options open and is considering a full-scale review of agencies, said Oren, who cautioned that the process is “more or less exploratory” and said it is too early to discuss a budget or timetable. Should a review take place, Donovan and Faber would be invited to defend, he added.
Donovan said his shop works for Furniture.com on a “project basis” and referred questions about a review to the client.
Oren oversaw White Rain shampoo at Gillette and worked with Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos in Boston. It was unclear at press time whether Hill, Holliday, a unit of the Interpublic Group of Cos. and the region’s second-largest agency, would be considered for the account given its relatively small budget. A source said it was unlikely the agency would be interested given its current workload.
One agency executive who was contacted by Furniture.com said the client is not displeased with Donovan’s work but appears to want a shop with broader consumer-oriented experience in light of heightened competition from rival online retailers. Of particular concern is home furnishings site Living.com, which is currently conducting its own $5 million review, the source said.