Come On Down The Price Is Right

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

The Carpet and Rug Institute continues its change of direction – it now describes itself in press releases, and we quote “Creative Realities, a leader in creating innovative brand experiences”. It also announced this week the appointment of Paul Price as its new CEO.

This is NOT Paul Price

Price, 48, most recently served as global president at Rapp. Previously, Price served as Chief Partnership Officer at Omnicom’s DDB Worldwide, where he established a track record for marketing services innovation since relocating to New York from his native Australia in 2001.

Creative Realities now also describes itself as a “fully integrated experiential design firm that assists marketers in creating uniquely interactive consumer experiences using innovative combinations of brand insight, creative design and digital expertise” – a far cry from the hang and bang / trucks and ladders we all loved – strange but we sense an element of Laura Davis-Taylor in that sentence!

Robin Reardon, Creative Realities’ U.S. president told us “We’re excited such a respected industry innovator is joining us. Paul’s leadership, experience and enthusiasm for creative marketing will propel Creative Realities even further.”

This stinks of a business looking for a brand new direction and maybe a way to move further up the food chain. The CRI founders, Jason and Drew, are going to be counsel on a few key accounts and strategic initiatives we understand.

We are led to believe that they have been putting this strategy in place for a few years now though to us that doesn’t quite cut it. Robin Reardon and Laura Davis-Taylor being hired recently makes some sense with regard a shift in strategy and the first steps in making it real.

To be fair Paul Price joining CRI does round out a strategy because it kinda puts them in a unique position to address integrating in-store with traditional marketing – they do at least, seem to have an executive management team that come from a leadership position in almost every sector BUT of course the proof of the pudding is in grabbing new profitable clients.

Strange times indeed as effectively CRI becomes a marketing company? It’s almost definitely the end of the line for this integrator as it was.

Creative Realities is owned by an affiliate of Pegasus Capital Pegasus Capital Advisors, LP, a New York-based private equity firm, and retains David Bell as senior adviser. Formerly chairman of IPG, Bell is renowned for his marketing services industry leadership. On Price’s appointment, Bell said, “We’re thrilled Paul decided to join us. We’re sure he’ll lead Creative Realities to even more success.”

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