Signature Brands Parcels Out Ad Responsibilities

Signature Brands has parted with Cleveland agency Meldrum & Fewsmith Communications after more than a decade and may next year initiate a review of creative responsibilities for its estimated $10 million account.
The Bedford Heights, Ohio-based company, which earlier this year changed its corporate name from Health o meter Products, is best known for its Mr. Coffee and Mrs. Tea home appliances. It has unbundled and reviewed all marketing resources following the installation in August of Meeta Vyas as chief executive officer. She had been general manager for corporate business development with General Electric Co.
Padilla Speer Beardsley in Minneapolis was named public relations agency of record after a review. Advertising media buying and planning has been moved from Meldrum to Wyse Advertising in Cleveland.
Meldrum also no longer handles creative development, said Carolyn Resar, Signature Brands’ director of marketing communications, and no successor as agency of record is planned.
“We have decided to use multiple vendors for our marketing rather than have an agency of record,” Resar said. “As we move further with that [arrangement], we will be reevaluating it and could decide to [reconsolidate it].”
She attributed the split with Meldrum to the company’s decision to adopt the unbundled, project-based approach, not dissatisfaction with the agency’s work.
Creative work on holiday advertising for Mr. Coffee and other products has been split between two Cleveland agencies. Wyse is handling TV and radio creative duties (and all media buying), while Hard Sell is creating print advertising, Resar said.
In June 1996, the client initiated a formal review of its account and invited nine shops to pitch the business. But it was called off, and the company opted to retain Meldrum.