Diamond Sales Hit Record; De Beers Looks For More

An emphasis on quality and an effort to find the "new tennis bracelet" mark the 1996 effort to boost diamond jewelry sales. U.S. consumers bought $13.7 billion worth of diamond jewelry in 1995, up 6% from 1994, according to J. Walter Thompson, De Beers' advertising agency. "Consumers are continuing to show a marked interest in high-quality goods that have lasting value instead of disposable items with a trendy orientation." says Jim Haag, a senior partner at JWT. "This is a particularly encouraging sign for us because our marketing efforts this year will be highly geared toward emphasizing diamond value and quality." To evaluate the prospects for this year, JWT conducted a consumer survey and several focus groups. The survey found that 66% of married men are interested in giving their wives diamond jewelry this year. To persuade them to make that purchase, JWT has outlined a strate

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