DONER GETS JEWELRY RETAILER'S $10 MILLION ACCOUNT

Business Was With Troubled Earle Palmer Brown

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Helzberg Diamonds awarded its $10 million advertising account to Doner, Southfield, Mich., following a four-month review.

The 250-unit retail jewelry subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway selected the independent shop over Panoramic Communications' Earle Palmer Brown, New York, the incumbent; Interpublic Group of Cos.' Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis; and independent Richards Group, Dallas.

Agency's shaky outlook
John Goodman, senior vice

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president of marketing and customer service for the Kansas City, Mo.-based retailer, said the shaky outlook for its agency of five years was a factor in launching the review. He said, "Our overall need to have a partner that is strategically sound in retail advertising and that is financially sound and can grow with us in the future were key considerations."

EPB was not immediately available for comment. Helzberg was one of four active accounts for the agency. Earlier this month EPB sold its Bethesda, Md., office to Havas' Arnold Worldwide Partners, McLean, Va. Panoramic is also looking to make a deal for EPB's New York operations.

Account staff shift?
Mr. Goodman said any decisions to shift account staff from EPB to Doner were in Doner's court.

Doner will begin work Nov. 1, with its first creative expected to break in early 2003, around Mother's Day.

S.H. Jacobs, Philadelphia, was the consultant on the review.