DSI Toys has begun contacting agencies around the country about its estimated $10 million advertising account, currently handled by Sive/Young & Rubicam in Cincinnati.
The Houston-based manufacturer of toys and a line of children's consumer electronics has tapped the Warren Agency marketing consultancy in Austin, Texas, to conduct the search.
Charlotte Warren, principal of the consultancy, said Sive/Young & Rubicam will defend the business.
Warren sent out 11 requests for proposals to advertising agencies in New York, Houston, Los Angeles and Chicago late last month that she declined to name.
Warren said Greenwood Marketing in Houston is assisting her in the agency selection process.
Executives at Sive/Young & Rubicam could not be reached for comment. Linda Riggs, director of marketing at DSI Toys, did not return calls at press time.
DSI Toys is keeping its options open on whether it will assign both creative and media duties to the same agency, said Warren. Currently, Sive/Young & Rubicam handles both. "We've included full-service agencies, but we're also looking at firms that could strictly do just creative or media," Warren said.
Executives at DSI Toys will spend this week and next evaluating the agency questionnaires, which were due back last Friday. Warren said three to five shops will be invited to a final round of presentations, with a decision likely by the end of September.
DSI markets a variety of children's toys, including several dolls. Among its top sellers are the Rosie and Pattie singing dolls. The manufacturer's other products include L.A. Rock Teen Electronics, Digi-Tech Walkie Talkies and Swamp Critters dolls.
The DSI Toys product line is sold through major retail chains such as Toys 'R Us.
The company underwent an initial public offering of three million shares in May.