FTD Selects Donor for BTB Efforts

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FTD Inc., Downers Grove, IL, picked ad agency Doner, Southfield, MI, to handle a broad array of business-to-business marketing work between the floral giant and its 20,000 North American retail partners.

Doner's most important task will be to handle the design and production of 12 annual catalogs FTD, also known as Florists' Transworld Delivery, will ship to flower shops. The catalogs include two books that introduce full-scale product lines in the spring and before the holidays and 10 "update" mini-catalogs. A separate agency, Helm Inc., Highland Park, MI, will provide fulfillment.

FTD allows independent retail florists to carry its logo for a flat fee, and in return the company gives flower shops "everything they could possibly need to run a floral business," according to FTD Marketing Manager Linda O'Dekirk. In addition to selling flowers, containers, general supplies and other products to the shops through the catalogs, FTD provides stores with marketing support services such as phone answering systems and Web site assistance.

Officials at FTD would not disclose billings on the account, which the company awarded to Doner this month after recently entrusting its advertising work to the agency. Reports put FTD's ad billings at $23 million and identified losing contenders for the account as incumbent Partners & Simon, Boston, and Fallon McElligott, Minneapolis.

"They [Doner] handle our national advertising campaign as well, and there's a lot of synergy and economic value of having them work on our business-to-business efforts," said FTD spokeswoman Lisa Witek.

The first catalog being put together by Doner is scheduled for shipment in February. To help the affiliated flower shops with their own direct marketing efforts, Doner will redesign FTD's floral selections guide, a consumer catalog of floral arrangements. A designer's workbook that gives florists "recipes" for making the arrangements will also be handled by Doner.

The agency will handle several point-of-purchase materials for the floral retailers including posters, static-cling signs for doors, windows and coolers and waterproof mats for registers.

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