Home builder PulteGroup has tapped Doner as its first media agency of record, as part of a push to consolidate media-buying and planning work that was previously handled in-house and by local shops.
The selection of Doner followed a competitive review against undisclosed agencies. The media pitch was led by former auto marketer Deborah Wahl Meyer, who took over as chief marketing officer at Pulte a little over a year ago. The appointment of an outside media agency follows the naming this past November of Omnicom Group's GSD&M Idea City as the company's new creative agency, replacing the Richards Group.
According to Kantar and industry sources, the company's measured media budget is currently between $10 million and $20 million annually.
"We've had a really decentralized approach in the past with market-level buying," Ms. Wahl Meyer told Ad Age . "I was brought in to look at how we're approaching marketing efforts overall. We want to take advantage of bringing a new level of specification to our markets in terms of what we can do on the media-buying side."
On Doner: "I love way they're structured. They're locally driven with a focus on big purchase decisions. We're selling homes."
The Southfield, MI-based shop will be responsible for media planning and broadcast buying programs for the brand portfolio including Pulte Homes, Centex and Del Webb. The hiring a Doner marks a reuniting of Ms. Meyer and David DeMuth, co-CEO at the agency. Ms. Meyer was a client of Doner's years ago, when she was at Mazda, and the two have kept in touch.
"We've had discussions with Pulte about a desire to consolidate media and make the media dollar go further, and our expertise in that area was appealing," said Mr. DeMuth. "What we'll be doing uniquely is bringing more insight and strategic rigor to the planning process."