Some o you needed us.
Ritz-Carlton alone. After winners
in all the categories had been an-
nounced, she grabbed her jacket
to leave, thinking she'd avoid a
rush at the door. But she was
turned back by a woman who
told her it would be "rude" to exit
before the banquet was over. So,
she went back to her seat. Mo-
ments later, a spotlight fell on her
and the announcement was
Ms. Barnett, who some still re-
member as the model in the
Farmer Jack commercials who
sat atop a bale of hay chit-chat-
ting with an animated farmer,
doesn't gloat about the honor. She
credits a talented staff for the suc-
cess of the agency, which posted
revenues of $70 million last year.
But she concedes that when
she founded Mars, most women
her age were working, if at all, in
the fields of nursing or teaching.
The agency started out with four
employees and the Farmer Jack
account, which it still counts
among its most important.
Mars' revenues have grown at
a steady rate of 10 percent each
year and it maintains a stable of
about 30 accounts.
The agency has snagged
awards for its ad campaigns for
Selectcare and Harman Motive
Inc., among others, but the ku-
dos don't really matter to her, she
says. However, they "feed the
soul of the writers and artists,"
and if they're content, their work
What matters is knowing that
the agency has accomplished a
goal— boosting a client's profits.
"When a client calls and says
the ad turned around his prob-
lem, that's what makes me hap-
py (a bouquet of flowers also gives
her a lift). You know you are
building relationships," she says.
"Your clients become friends.
That's what it's all about."
Six years ago, Ms. Barnett,
whose business partner is her son
Ken, formed Unique Concepts,
a subsidiary of Mars. The com-
pany writes and produces mag-
azines and calendars that are
used as marketing tools for its
clients. One of them, a grocery-
store chain called Big Y, used it
as a coupon vehicle and an edu-
cational guide for children. It in-
cluded a homework hotline that
became an instant hit, and the
chain's business "went to the
moon," Ms. Barnett says. "The
reason for the division was to sep-
arate our clients, to put them on
a level above their competition,"
she explains. "It's not an innova-
In all her years in the business,
she's never been bored or bereft
of ideas: 'There's always an idea
you can improve upon, put a new
twist on," she says.
Ms. Barnett, a member of
Temple Israel, smiles broadly.
"I feel lucky to be doing what
Pm doing. How many people can
Some of you just needed to
lznow we were there.
Thanks to all of you
As we celebrate fifty years of creative insurance alternatives, we'd like to thank
all of our clients for their continued business. We are proud to provide the utmost
service_ and look forward to doing so in the future.
I N S U R A N C E
• Harry S. Colburn
• Leslie E. Colburn
• Pamela Colburn Haron
3001 West Big Beaver Road • Suite 302 • Troy, Michigan 48084-3192 • Phone: (810) 643-4900 Fax: (810) 643-0874
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