Pier 1›s Bigger Budget Benefits Campbell-Ewald

DETROIT„Executives at Campbell-Ewald Advertising got an early Christmas gift when officials from Pier 1 Imports arrived at their office the week before the holiday wearing Santa hats to present the agency with the retailer›s account.
The account is worth $60 million. The Warren, Mich., agency bested several other finalists in a review, including Doner, Southfield, Mich.; BBDO, Chicago; and Saatchi & Saatchi, New York. Consultant Jones-Lundin Associates, Chicago, handled the review.
Based on past spending patterns, the Fort Worth, Texas, retailer›s account was originally thought to be worth $45 million. But Pier 1 plans to boost its marketing budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins March 1, according to a statement from chairman and chief executive officer Marvin J. Girouard.
The retailer of imported home decor and gifts operates stores in 48 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, the U.K., Mexico and Japan. Its sales were $1.14 billion in the fiscal year ending this past February. CEA will handle advertising and other marketing services for the U.S. and Canada, said Pier 1 representative Joy Rich. Pier 1›s international division handles advertising in other parts of the world, using agencies on a project basis.
The uniqueness of Pier 1›s offerings will allow CEA to create a distinct voice for the retailer in its marketing efforts, said Tony Hopp, agency chairman and chief executive officer.
The chain previously handled its creative work in-house. Media buying was at Advanswers Media/Programming in St. Louis. CEA picks up those duties as well. The retailer will look for CEA›s input on custom publishing and Web site duties and also make use of the shop›s research capabilities, Rich said. ˜They will be a true marketing partner,” she said.
In March, Pier 1 launched a campaign anchored around the slogan, ˜So many reasons to love Pier 1.”
The company spent $45 million on advertising in 1998 and about $31 million through the first six months of 1999, per Competitive Media Reporting. It far outspends its smaller category competitors, according to CMR. K