AutoTrader Moves Online Marketing to Ant Farm

ATLANTA Ant Farm Interactive has won the Internet marketing account of AutoTrader.com, the nation’s largest online automobile marketplace, following a two-month review, the agency said.

The Nurun shop in Atlanta will produce and manage all of the Atlanta company’s interactive marketing and advertising, both creative and media buying. The first work is scheduled to launch early next year.

The incumbent, Sidereus Group, an independent Atlanta shop, did not defend. AutoTrader had been using the shop for creative work for the past two years. The client has handled its media buying in-house.

AutoTrader began the review in October to find a larger, full-service shop to handle a 25 percent increase in interactive spending planned for 2005 and assume media buying, said Clark Wood, vice president of marketing at the company. He declined to disclose the total budget for the effort.

Six Atlanta shops received requests for proposals and were asked to present credentials. The company cut the field to two finalists, Ant Farm and Atlanta independent Moxie, and gave each shop the same assignment. The client chose Ant Farm after the presentations.

“It was a very close call but, in the end, it came down to a personality fit,” Wood said. “There’s a lot of infectious enthusiasm at Ant Farm.”

Nurun is a Canadian holding company that specializes in interactive technology and communications services. It acquired Ant Farm last April.