Dotglu Snares Hartz, Kao

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Dotglu LLC, a kirshenbaum bond + partners shop, has been named interactive agency of record for hair- and skin-care products maker Kao Brands Co. and pet-care products manufacturer Hartz Mountain Co.


Kao, Cincinnati, previously used several regional independent agencies to service its brands, while Hartz, Secaucus, NJ, handled interactive and direct marketing responsibilities inhouse.


"Both clients insisted on strong integration, targeting, budget efficiency and ROI effectiveness," said Steve Thibodeau, president of Dotglu, New York. "In addition, we needed to deliver a consistent brand voice across all channels and brands while approaching their target audiences where they live. Hartz also insisted on a high level of measurement and accountability."


The agency will offer Kao services related to Web strategy, site development, e-mail and database marketing, and online advertising. Hartz duties are similar, but include direct response television and product sampling as well.


Dotglu's responsibilities will extend to Kao product lines such as Biore, Jergens, Ban, Curel and John Frieda Sheer Blonde, Frizz-Ease and Brilliant Brunette.


The agency also will relaunch the site at www.hartz.com while managing Hartz's grooming products, toys and flea and tick treatments.


Dotglu will work with kirshenbaum bond + partners on the accounts to integrate with other marketing channels. For example, the agency and its parent will design and implement an integrated program for Hartz that includes DRTV.


Kao and Hartz Web sites and the new marketing debut in late spring.


The wins boost Dotglu's portfolio, which includes Beech-Nut, Liberty Mutual, Edward Jones, NetJets, Verizon SuperPages and Citibank AAdvantage credit cards.


Launched in November 2000 with 15 employees and now with 47, Dotglu began as a pure-play interactive marketing firm. But market conditions and an evolution of agency charter moved it to more relationship marketing offerings.


"We're not seeing the resurgence to the markets of yesteryear," Thibodeau said. "The current market condition is still tight, and great clients with big budgets are far more rare than they were in the past. In addition, it's fair to say that clients are being much more careful than they were in the past.


"On the other hand," he said, "the new business pipeline is very active -- more so than even a year ago -- and the quality of the opportunities in play has definitely improved. The most significant change, not surprisingly, is that clients have upped the ante in terms of what they're looking for in an integrated marketing partner. Clients demand more value and accountability in their agency relationship."


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