DraftFCB Set to Pick Up Cox's Direct-Response and Digital Account

Move Signals Effort to Consolidate Marketing and Media Accounts

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DraftFCB, Chicago, is poised to pick up the direct-response and digital-marketing account for cable TV and wireless provider Cox Communications after a review, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Interpublic agency referred calls to Cox, where a spokesman said that the company "can't confirm a winner at this time." Consultant Pile & Co. oversaw the review.

It's believed that Publicis Groupe 's Digitas and WPP's G2 also participated in the review and that independent agency Doner, who has handled the company's creative for 10 years, was not affected by the review.

The move appears to be part of a larger effort by Cox to consolidate all of its marketing and media accounts, and people familiar with this particular review said that Cox was looking to consolidate its regional direct and digital work, moving from multiple smaller agencies to one shop.

The company in December awarded Publicis Groupe 's MediaVest its media agency of record account in an effort to consolidate its local media operations. MediaVest replaced smaller shops that handled media-buying and -planning duties across Cox's key 18 markets, which include cities in California, Florida, Louisiana, Virginia and Arizona, among others. DraftFCB's account is expected to have a similar setup.

The media-buying and -planning account was an estimated $75 to $100 million in measured-media spending. Cox Communications represents the largest group within Cox Enterprises, which owns automotive-auction company Manheim, AutoTrader.com and Cox Media. Cox Enterprises spent $151 million on measured media in 2010, according to Kantar.

It marks an early 2012 win for DraftFCB. Along with the digital marketing-duties win for Discover Financial Services' Discover Card, which it snagged late last year, as well as other wins from 2011, such as Beiersdorf and CRM work for Coca-Cola, the agency is working to offset last year's loss of the much bigger global SCJohnson account and others like State Farm TV.

Also on the new-business front, earlier this week, the agency's global chief growth officer, Nick Paul, left the agency to focus on another opportunity. DraftFCB isn't naming a replacement for Mr. Paul, but Global Chief of Staff Peter Drakoulias -- who just arrived late last year -- will add business development to his current duties.

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