The five Southeast divisions of Ryland South Builders, a branch of The Ryland Group in Columbia, Md., heard pitches this week from four agencies vying for the regional account.
Lipphardt Advertising, Tampa, Fla.; Erwin-Penland and Henderson Advertising, both Greenville, S.C.; and Corder & Phillips, Charlotte, N.C., made presentations at the home builders' Tampa division, hoping to land an account sources close to the process estimated at $2 million.
Ryland's southern region is represented by Goswick Advertising, a Houston shop devoted almost exclusively to marketing real estate developers. Anne Madison, client vice president of corporate communications, said that regardless of the review's outcome, Goswick would retain Texas markets and marketing duties for Ryland's mortgage division. Goswick is also Ryland's corporate agency.
At least two agency sources speaking on the condition of anonym-ity, however, said their shops were told the Southeast winner will be laying the foundation for a relationship that subsequently would have the opportunity to pursue the entire southern region. That territory includes three divisions in Texas roughly equal in size financially to the five Southeast units.
Though Madison said Goswick remained a contender in the Southeast, agency principal David Goswick said his shop was told Ryland was looking for a firm closer to its units and the shop would "probably not" defend that portion of the account.
Ryland's Southeast divisions are located in Atlanta; Charleston, S.C.; Greenville, N.C.; and Orlando and Tampa, Fla. The Texas units are in Dallas, Houston and a combined Austin/San Antonio market.
"We hope to have something completed by the new year," Madison said. --with Jim Osterman and Glen Fes