Sunbeam Shifting Again

Carmichael Lynch to Continue With First Alert
CHICAGO–In the latest in a series of reversals, Sunbeam Corp. is not consolidating all of its product accounts with Ogilvy & Mather here.
Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis will continue to handle advertising for First Alert, the home security product company Sunbeam acquired earlier this year. It was the acquisitions of First Alert, Signature Brands (marketer of Mr. Coffee appliances) and outdoor products marketer Coleman Co. that had led Delray Beach, Fla.-based Sunbeam to announce a review to find a single agency to handle all its products. It valued the account at $160 million, although Sunbeam spent only $17 million in 1997, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
But when Sunbeam’s board ousted chairman Al Dunlap shortly after the review was announced, its plans changed. Rojek Marketing, the Cleveland search consultants working with Sunbeam, had notified agencies it had contacted that the review was off and that O&M, the incumbent agency on the Sunbeam brands, was getting the consolidated account [Adweek, June 22].
“There’s no search, and there’s no planned move to Ogilvy,” said Doug Kellam, vice president and general manager of Sunbeam’s health and safety division, which includes First Alert.
Carmichael is readying a new campaign, scheduled to break in August issues of parenting magazines. Ads, which stress the need to replace smoke detectors every 10 years, are built around the theme “Be safe. Replace.” The campaign will also include First Alert’s first TV spot in several years, a 30-second execution pointing out the risks of not changing one’s smoke detector, he said.
Kellam said “the jury is out” on plans for the ad accounts of Coleman and Signature Brands. Executives at Wyse Advertising in Cleveland, which was assigned Mr. Coffee advertising late last year, said they have had discussions with Sunbeam officials but don’t yet know if they will be handling any future advertising for the brand.
Newly installed Sunbeam chief executive officer Jerry Levin’s direction is “not to consolidate agencies for consolidation’s sake,” Kellam said.
The Coleman account was most recently with Tarlow Advertising in New York, but the agency’s contract expired in April. Coleman’s “ultimate goal” is still to consolidate with O&M, said Nancy Blanchat, the company’s director of marketing communications.
“We’re just trying to manage the relationship and make it better,” she said. No timetable has been set for the consolidation, she said. “We’re not forcing anything on anyone,” she said.
Officials at Rojek and O&M could not reached for comment at press time.