J. Walter Thompson to Advise Diamond Industry

In an unusual arrangement that underscores the changing nature of the diamond trade, J. Walter Thompson, the ad agency for De Beers’ Diamond Trading Company, will offer its marketing services to diamond companies. The arrangement is part of the DTC’s effort to help the industry improve its marketing.

“The DTC’s goal is to get more diamonds in the hands of the consumer, and now our agency can help people do that,” says Sheryl Silberg, director of market initiatives, who stresses that, for legal reasons, the services will not be available only to sightholders. She says her agency is uniquely positioned to serve the trade. “We don’t have to go through the learning curve,” she says. “We speak trade-speak, but we also understand the consumer and marketing.”

The new group, called MTG Consulting, will use resources from JWT’s Diamond Marketing Group and the agency in general. The initial consultation will be free, but if the company wants to take it further, the group will charge what Silberg calls “competitive rates” for its services. All profits will go to J. Walter Thompson.

While the group will not be the agency of record for any company, it will assist with consumer research, creative, media planning, and strategy on a project basis.

The group will be working with competing companies, but Silberg stresses that all the work MTG does will be kept confidential—including from its client, the Diamond Trading Company.