Rockett Lands Reeds

Rockett Burkhead & Winslow has been awarded Reeds Jewelers’ marketing business.

The Raleigh, N.C., agency outperformed incumbent Atlantic Coast Advertising of Wilmington, N.C., and two undisclosed finalists believed to be from Boston and Philadelphia.

“We’ve built the critical mass,” said Alan Zimmer, president and chief executive officer of Reeds, which is headquartered in Wilmington. “Now we believe that Rockett can deliver strong, consistent marketing programs.”

Billings are $5 million, a figure that will underwrite the agency’s creative, media buying, interactive and direct mail duties.

“We are starting immediately on three critical initiatives—reinforcing the brand, strengthening the customer relationships and devel-oping promotional programs to enhance market share,” said agency co-CEO Scott Burkhead.

Reeds, the ninth-largest retail jeweler in the U.S., operates 119 stores in 21 states in the Southeast and Midwest.

“The most important task is to reposition them away from discount jewelers like Zales,” said Burkhead, who noted the retailer has developed an improved product mix and staff training.

“Most jewelry is bought by men who need a lot of help understanding what [they’re] getting,” Burkhead added. “Reeds has put a lot into educating its associates and we’ll communicate that in both broadcast and print.”

The first advertising is expected to break in early November.

Television spots are set to air in Southeast markets. Newspaper ads will target regions where the retailer has a smaller presence.