PEARLE TRUSTS BRAND TO MCCANN: STRONGER SUPPORT OF EYECARE STORES SPARKS SHIFT OF $30 MILLION IN SPENDING.

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Pearle Vision Centers has named McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York, to succeed GSD&M, Dallas, on its $30 million-plus advertising account.

The agency will work on a strategic branding and positioning plan for Pearle before developing a new ad campaign, expected to begin in the fall.

VARIOUS MEDIA EYED

Philip Alexander, VP-marketing and advertising, said that although no media plan has been finalized, the retailer will use TV, radio, print and outdoor advertising.

McCann was selected to replace GSD&M because Pearle wanted an agency with stronger branding credentials, Mr. Alexander said.

Pearle and Lenscraft-ers are the No. 1 and No. 2 eyeglass retailers in the U.S. based on number of locations; Pearle has more than 700 stores. Lenscrafters, however, is No. 1 when ranked by retail sales volume.

According to James Heekin, president of McCann-Erickson North America, Pearle was looking for a strategic partner to help leverage its brand equity against Lenscrafters.

REACHING AGING BOOMERS

Also, he said, Pearle wanted to find a way to exploit its tradition of offering full-service eyecare and make it relevant to a new generation of customers, aging baby boomers who may be getting glasses for the first time.

GSD&M did not participate in the Pearle review, which included W.B. Doner & Co., Southfield, Mich.; Impact Communications Group, Chicago; and Publicis/Bloom, New York.

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