The move comes at a time when few reviews are begin initiated due to the economic slowdown and the recent terrorist attacks.
Network Associates' previous agency was Answer Think, Los Angeles, which is moving away from traditional advertising to focus on Internet-related services.
Last year, Network Associates spent $11.4 million on advertising, according to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR.
The company would prefer San Fancisco- and Northern California-based agencies, one executive familair with the search said.
Network Associates executives did not return calls at deadline.