Sunbeam Acquisition Spree Leaves Ad Plans Unclear At Target Firms

Carmichael Lynch is forging ahead with development of a major new campaign for in-home safety marketer First Alert, despite last week’s announcement of the company’s acquisition by Sunbeam Corp.
In addition, Delray Beach, Fla.-based Sunbeam, headed by turnaround specialist Albert J. Dunlap, announced deals to acquire outdoor equipment marketer Coleman Co. and Signature Brands USA, maker of Mr. Coffee appliances. The transactions total approximately $2.5 billion in cash, stock and assumed debt.
Coleman had been owned by MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings, which also controls Revlon. Coleman’s estimated $10 million ad account was moved to Revlon’s agency, Tarlow Advertising, New York, from Martin/Williams, Minneapolis, last September. Sources close to Coleman said last week the account will likely not remain with Tarlow after the Sunbeam deal is completed.
Coleman and Sunbeam executives could not be reached for comment about future advertising plans.
Signature Brands parted ways with 10-year incumbent agency Meldrum & Fewsmith Communications, Cleveland, last November. Broadcast creative work and all media buying has since been handled by Wyse Advertising in Cleveland.
Ogilvy & Mather, Chicago, has been Sunbeam’s agency of record since 1996.
Carmichael Lynch won First Alert’s $2-3 million account last June, succeeding Lois/EJL, Chicago. Its new campaign for the Aurora, Ill.-based marketer is expected to break this summer. The campaign, themed “Be safe … Replace,” will educate consumers about in-home detectors and back the introduction of the client’s new combination smoke and carbon monoxide detector.
First Alert considers the new campaign an evolution of its current consumer education advertising from Carmichael Lynch. The print ads are themed, “First Alert is watching out for your family.”

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