PUMPKIN MASTERS CARVES WINNER

By Published on .

Although Halloween sales have been booming, John Bardeen thinks there's an even larger market to be carved out.

Mr. Bardeen,who is founder of Pumpkin Masters, the pumpkin-carving kit that's become a phenomenon nationwide, has founded the Halloween Association to try to extend the holiday.

"We basically want to promote Halloween as a family holiday and change the date to the last Saturday in October,"Mr. Bardeen said.

Not only would sales of Halloween-related merchandise be larger if the event was on a weekend when there could be more parties, "it'd have the nice side effect of having Halloween before the time change" and making it safer for kids to trick-or-treat in daylight, he said.

Even without a weekend to consistently depend on, Halloween has been good to Pumpkin Masters, which has built up a national reputation in less than 10 years to become a $7 million-plus company.

That's without advertising.

Pumpkin Masters' public relations efforts have garnered exposure with pumpkins carved using the marketer's kit appearing in such places as New York's Times Square as well as on ABC-TV's "Home Improvement" and "NFL Monday Night Football."

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