Phillips Marketing, a San Diego-based marketing consulting firm, has launched a review of Southern California shops for an undisclosed theme-park account. Billings are estimated at $10-12 million, sources said.
"We are conducting a preliminary exploration of a closed list of Southern California agencies," said Robert Phillips, president of Phillips Marketing.
Blind questionnaires have been sent to several midsized shops in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties, according to sources.
Several of the questions pertain to the agencies' experience with theme-park business.
The review will be conducted in three phases, according to the questionnaire. In the first phase, agencies will provide background information, including billings for the past three years, possible conflicts with theme-park business, agency philosophy, list of consumer clients, new product experience and agency affiliates in other cities. This information, plus creative samples, is due back to the consultant by Dec. 23.
By January, the list of contenders will be narrowed to six or seven shops for phase two. The shops will then make capabilities presentations to the review team, according to Phillips.
Three to four finalists will reach phase three, where they will make creative presentations to the client.
A decision is expected by the last week of March.
The winning agency will work with the client on a fee basis.