Kaplan Thaler Wins Creative; TargetCast to Buy Media

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Eight O'Clock Coffee, newly independent of its longtime parent the Great A&P Tea Co., has selected agencies to handle its creative and advertising media-buying assignments following a review, the company's marketing director said.

The review began in February after Eight O'Clock Coffee's November 2003 sale to Gryphon Investors, a San Francisco-based private equity firm.

Kaplan Thaler Group, New York, part of Publicis Groupe, will handle creative, while independent TargetCast, New York, will be responsible for buying media, said David Allen, director of marketing at Eight O'Clock Coffee.

Consultant Roth Associates, New York, handled the review.

Finalists included Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide, New York, and media sibling OMD; MDC Partners' Margeotes Fertitta & Partners, which pitched both creative and media; and Kaplan Thaler, which teamed with independent Allscope Media, New York. TargetCast initially worked with creative shop Bouchez Kent, New York. When the latter was cut from contention, TargetCast continued on its own into the final rounds.

Eight O'Clock Coffee has in the past worked with various shops, including independent DeVito/Verdi, New York, and the St. Louis office of Havas' Arnold Worldwide, for creative work, Mr. Allen said.

Spending on the brand has been minimal, but future spending is expected to be around $7 million for the coming year, according to executives familiar with the account.

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