Sea Ray Contacts Outside Shops

Boat manufacturer Sea Ray has contacted agencies regarding its estimated $3 million advertising account, sources said.

The business is with Biggs/Gilmore in Kalamazoo, Mich. Biggs/- Gilmore officials said they were not aware of an agency review.

Sea Ray marketing executives could not be reached for comment.

Biggs/Gilmore has been in an organizational shift, but it is not known what role that played in the Knoxville, Tenn., boat marketer’s decision to contact outside shops, sources said.

Three senior Biggs/Gilmore managers bought the agency last month from its former principals, who will remain on as consultants for at least the next year.

Biggs/Gilmore has worked on the Sea Ray business for nearly a decade, said Mike Gerfen, principal at the agency. Gerfen said agency executives are planning Sea Ray’s 2001 advertising.

The agency opened an office in Knoxville in July to accommodate an expanding relationship with Sea Ray. Previous to that, the agency’s primary responsibility was the client’s Web site, although Sea Ray often gave the shop project work. Sea Ray shifted print and promotional work to the agency in the spring.