DALLAS - Houston computer software firm WatchSoft has launched a search for an agency partner on its $2 million-plus advertising account.
The selected agency will be asked to promote the company's Internet content control software product, Disk Tracy, marketing it for both consumer and business applications.
The account review is open to all comers. Jim O'Donnell, of Galveston, Texas-based consultancy Seabrook, is conducting the company's review and said there are no official parameters for qualifications. The company is not likely to hire a large agency, however, and leans toward selecting a Southwest shop. "Closer is probably better," he said.
The company worked last year with The Quest Business Agency in Houston on a project basis. Quest senior vice president and executive creative director Richard Baron said his shop was unaware of the review and "probably won't" pursue the business. He said Quest has not been in touch with WatchSoft since last summer.
WatchSoft expects to identify three to five finalists by the end of the month, then name a winner in June, said O'Donnell.
"We're looking for somebody with a mix of skills. This is a high-tech product, but we're [primarily] selling it to consumers," said O'Donnell.
In addition to a consumer version of Disk Tracy that is designed for individual personal computers, the company recently introduced a commercial network version.
Disk Tracy compiles logs of Internet usage and checks computer files for objectionable graphic and written content. The software product differs from blocking programs like Net Nanny and Surfwatch by checking a user's activity after an Internet session, according to the company.
"I think it competes directly with them, but the company also feels that net-blocking software doesn't work very well," said O'Donnell. Net-blocking software "misses things it's supposed to keep out, and keeps out things it's not supposed to."