The decision follows a six-week review that began with an agency field of 50 and narrowed in the final round to just two: Interpublic Group of Cos.' Hill Holliday, Boston, and McKinney, Durham N.C.
Search consultants Hasan & Co. managed the review. Incumbent Kaplan Thaler, which won the account in 2001, did not participate.
In 2006, Coldwell Banker spent $101 million in measured media, according to TNS Media Intelligence. That figure includes local advertising by the company's franchisees, according to a spokesman, which will not be handled by McKinney.
As online upstarts like Redfin.com and Zillow.com began challenging the real-estate industr's status quo the last few years, Coldwell Banker has reacted by shifting some of its spending online, in addition to investing heavily in its online presence at Coldwellbanker.com.
"This is one of those chances where it's a very old and established brand that is a pioneer online," said Jeff Jones, president of McKinney, who noted that the creative challenge is further build the company's online brand and status. "At the end of the day, what Coldwell Banker has to do is create a brand proposition that makes consumers realize they have the best of both worlds -- established agents and online tools."
The company's agency roster includes Kinesis Marketing, Morristown, N.J., for interactive and 02KL,New York, for marketing communications. The Parsippany, N.J.-based subsidiary of Realogy Corp. operates 3,800 offices and has 123,700 agents worldwide.
"We were extremely impressed by McKinney from the beginning of our search process," Charlie Young, senior VP-marketing for Coldwell Banker, said in a statement. "Along with an impressive track record, McKinney clearly understood that the real estate industry is changing with the consumer enjoying more upfront control than ever before."