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Front Door Gets SouthPeak

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Barely into its second year, creative shop Front Door doubled its annual billings last week, winning the $8 million advertising, marketing and design duties of SouthPeak Interactive.
An autonomous subsidiary of SAS Institute, both based in Cary, N.C., SouthPeak creates educational and entertainment software aimed at a general family audience. It has licensing pacts with Warner Bros. properties, including Scooby-Doo and The Flintstones.
"We're going to try and take [gaming] advertising to a different place," said Front Door creative director Brad Magner. "I don't think the industry's advertising has evolved nearly as much as the games have."
"We were looking for an agency that would provide us with a smart and inventive approach to our creative marketing needs," said client president Armistead Sapp. "Front Door will make that happen."
Front Door director of client strategy Dwayne Fry said the Raleigh, N.C., shop had done projects for SouthPeak since July 1998. Fry said Front Door vied against other project agencies, but both he and the client would not name them.
A computer industry observer familiar with SouthPeak said there were two California contenders: Epicentric, San Francisco, and 330, Los Angeles.
Media duties will continue to be handled by the client internally.
Front Door's three principals--Magner, Fry and director of client services Melanie Davis-Jones--left McKinney & Silver in Raleigh, N.C., to open the agency in May 1998.