Parr Defends Tile Outlets Against Atlantans

ATLANTA Tile Outlets of America is considering seven agencies to handle its estimated $1 million account, sources said.

The Tampa and Fort Myers, Fla.-based retailer is said to be contemplating a move to the Atlanta area and is looking for a shop to create television and radio ads and handle media buying.

Sources said the agencies contending are Omnicom’s BaylessCronin; MDC Partners’ Fletcher Martin Ewing; and independents Ambrosi, Steele+, Fricks/Firestone and Kilgannon McReynolds, all in Atlanta. Incumbent Parr Media Group in Fort Myers is defending.

Malissa Ladd, president of Madison Marketing in Atlanta, is overseeing the process. Ladd is also subjecting the year-old company, which sells high-end ceramic tile and stone in discount outlets, through a “branding and identity positioning exercise.” She described TOA as fitting a market niche between showrooms and discount outlets.

The company buys direct from manufacturers and sells at a discount in outlets designed to operate as showrooms, Ladd said. “Lots of outlets offer irregulars and [customers] have to look at each piece. In their store, the quality is first rate,” she said.

A cut to finalists will be made in early February, and a decision is expected in March, sources said.