Dillard Names Southwest Media

Dillard’s has shifted about $60-80 million in media-buying to Southwest Media, a division of Square One. The Dallas-based agency picked up the business last Friday following a review, which included an undisclosed number of Dallas and Houston agencies, Dillard’s representative Julie Bull confirmed.

The Little Rock, Ark.-based department store chain, which spends about $200 million annually on advertising according to CMR, declined to reveal the scope of the assignment with Southwest. Dillard’s handles its print advertising and catalogue work in-house; the client also spends heavily on co-advertising efforts with its brand-name suppliers. Little Rock agency Combs & Co., which had handled media buying and some broadcast creative, is said to be laying off staffers in its media department following the move. Creative assignments will likely continue to be awarded on a project basis, industry sources said.

The win vaults Square One into the number four position in the Southwest region for billings. The agency entered the top ten ranks last year with revenue of $13 million and billings of $130 million.