Luxottica Retail and 1-800-Contacts name AORs

MASON, OH and SALT LAKE CITY: Two of the biggest names in seeing clearly have selected new agencies.

MASON, OH and SALT LAKE CITY: Two of the biggest names in seeing clearly have selected new agencies.

Ohio-based Luxottica Retail has selected Ogilvy as the AOR for two of its best-known brands, LensCrafters and Sunglass Hut.

1-800-Contacts, the largest online retailer of contact lenses, has selected Stearns Johnson Communications as its new US AOR. Billings were not disclosed.

Ogilvy's New York consumer marketing practice will lead the account, said MD Barby Siegel.

With a focus on media outreach and special events, Ogilvy will align LensCrafters with style and fashion media, as well as key influencers.

"People often see glasses as a commodity," said Ogilvy VP Shari Kurzrok. "We want people to see it more as a decision about fashion and style."

For Sunglass Hut, Ogilvy will highlight the luxury brands the chain carries, along with such mainstays as Ray-Ban.

Ogilvy will also help promote Luxottica Retail's philanthropic program Give the Gift of Sight.

As for 1-800-Contacts, the Utah-based company selected Stearns Johnson because the agency brought corporate communications counsel the retailer didn't previously have, said Kevin McCallum, SVP of marketing and sales.

The agency will focus on educating people about the benefits of ordering contact lenses online and over the phone, said Tim Johnson, president of the San Francisco-based agency.

Messaging will assure customers that they don't need to buy contact lenses from their optometrists, who often charge as much as 20% more than retailers.

"Optometrists are the only medical professionals who sell the medical products they prescribe," said Johnson. "Many earn two-thirds of their income by selling the products they prescribe."

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