Cox Communications issued a request for proposals for its $75 million to $100 million media-buying and -planning account with the objective to consolidate the business currently handled by regional shops.
"We determined that it's more effective and efficient to work closely as one marketing team across local and national strategy, planning and buying," said a Cox spokesperson. "We're all about buying as one company to gain scale and efficiency and find more effective ways to communicate about our brand and products to current and potential customers."
Cox operates in 18 markets represented by nine entities, and each plans and buys separately with local agencies, he said.
The company expects to hire one national agency by mid-November, he added, for a scope of business media, residential services and traditional and new media, as well as a budget on par with recent years.
As the company evaluates its media strategy, it continues to roll out its relatively new wireless-phone offering, now available in about half its markets. "It's an area where we're trying to raise awareness and gain additional wallet share," said the spokesman.
Also, with small businesses representing about $1 billion of Cox Communication's $9.1 billion in revenue in 2010, the company views business services as a "high-growth area," as well as a marketing focus for the company, he added. "It's growing at aggressive double digits, and we want to keep up that momentum."
Doner has handled the company's creative for 10 years, and this review won't affect the relationship in any way, he noted.
Cox Communications represents the largest group within Cox Enterprises, which owns automotive auction company Manheim, AutoTrader.com and Cox Media.