AARS inks Ruder Finn/Switzer for mid-six-figure PR deal

SAN FRANCISCO: All-America Rose Selections (AARS), a testing and marketing organization for rose introducers and growers, has selected Ruder Finn/Switzer as its agency of record, in a deal worth mid-six figures.

SAN FRANCISCO: All-America Rose Selections (AARS), a testing and marketing organization for rose introducers and growers, has selected Ruder Finn/Switzer as its agency of record, in a deal worth mid-six figures.

AARS' former PR representation was Chicago-based Publicis Dialog.

Ruder Finn's SF MD Jessica Switzer will oversee account management. Ruder Finn's SF office and NY-based RF/Digital Studios and RF/Creative Services will collaborate to target education, image upgrade, and retail and consumer promotions. Switzer's office will contribute five team members to the project. John Gruen, SVP and director of advertising/NY, and Lisa Gabbay, president of creative services, will also be integral team members.

The account will use the firm's integrated marketing services, which include public relations, corporate brand strategy, collateral material, website design and retail promotion.

"AARP is relying on us beyond corporate positioning and media relations," Switzer said. "The close collaborative process was crucial to getting the business."

Switzer cited, as another example, the collaboration with RF/Digital Studios to produce an Apprentice-spoofing video presentation that won them representation of Sony Electronics.

All-America Rose Selections' search for a new agency began in mid-December, when they reviewed more than half a dozen firms. Switzer said that the team invested a tremendous amount of time upfront and went out to talk to customers. She said she talked to Gruen on a nightly basis in the week leading up to their deadline to discuss themes.

"It was one of the most collaborative processes I've been involved in. We're seeing an obvious trend that the collaboration pays off, depending on the client's needs. These are the accounts that we can show our best work. [Creativity] is encouraged and engrained in our culture."

Switzer said that the firm's first priority will be on image development through a brand strategy and a corporate identity redevelopment. All of the board members will come to the San Francisco office in May and make the PR and marketing decisions or the next fiscal year.

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