Small- to Midsize New York Shop? Voss Wants You

Launches Open Call For Agency Review in an E-mail to Ad Age

By Published on .

NEW YORK ( -- A few minutes ago, this release landed in Ad Age's inbox announcing that Voss, a Norwegian bottled water company, is launching an agency search.

[email protected]
August 5, 2010

Voss, a leading super premium imported bottled water, is conducting an agency search to provide various marketing communications services for an early 2011 launch. Interested agencies should contact Ken Gilbert, the consultant contracted to conduct the agency selection process.

Candidate agencies should be based in New York City—small to medium sized.

Prospects must be able to demonstrate strong strategic planning and creative capabilities. Experiences in related categories include beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), entertainment and culture, luxury and imported goods.

The company, whose international headquarters are in Oslo, Norway, and in the U.S. operates out of New York, said it seeks a small- to mid-sized New York agency to handle marketing communications for an early 2011 launch. It also listed contact information for a consultant managing the pitch and some preferences regarding category experience in luxury and beverage marketing working.

The brief release is certainly an unconventional way to announce a review, but we've seen crazier things. In fact, we saw one right around this time last year. (Hello Zappos.) On the one hand, Voss is risking a cattle-call-style pitch, which could produce an crippling number of response (and not all of them good), but on the other it appears to be fairly transparent at least about the size and geography of the agencies it's interested in.

For those who plan to throw their hat in the ring, we'll give you a head start. Visit their website, which allows you to pick "mood music" and select from a few different Voss-inspired backdrops while you tool around. A few highlights: In January Voss appointed as CEO Jack Belsito, former CEO of Snapple Beverage Group and longtime senior Cadbury Schweppes North America exec; its U.S. distributor is Birmingham, Ala.-based Alabama Crown; and the company appears to have an e-commerce component, the Voss Water Store, which allows you to have bottles delivered to your doorstep.

What do you think? Is Voss' method of calling an agency review an exercise in transparency and simplicity or a nightmare waiting to happen?

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