Simmons Tests BBDO, Martin

Mattress Maker Must Replace WestWayne
ATLANTA–Simmons Beautyrest Mattresses has a pair of agencies vying to replace incumbent WestWayne, which resigned the account last week, according to sources.
BBDO South chief executive officer and president Chris Hall confirmed the Atlanta shop is a finalist. The other contender, The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., referred all queries to the client.
Don Hofmann, vice president of advertising for Simmons, did not return calls by press time to confirm or deny the finalists. He had said earlier that a search was “late in the game” and the process had been narrowed to an agency in Atlanta and another in the Southeast.
“We have been talking to a small group of agencies . . . as we are embarking on some new directions, and wanted to get some alternate points of view,” said Hofmann. “We were disappointed when WestWayne chose not to pursue the account any longer.”
Hofmann said final presentations would be made some time this week, with a winner named by Nov. 1. He said the account currently bills $6 million annually.
WestWayne, which won the business five years ago, earned recognition for television commercials that used a bowling ball to demonstrate the benefits of sleeping on a Beautyrest mattress.
Simmons is the third major mattress maker to split with its advertising agency in 1999. Earlier this year, Sealy Mattresses moved its account from Leo Burnett in Chicago to Long Haymes Carr in Winston-Salem, N.C. Serta Mattresses has been in review since June.