Centex Builds Toward Decision

DALLAS-Three of the four advertising agencies being screened by Dallas-based Centex Homes about a possible national branding initiative surfaced last week.
According to sources, Dallas shops The Richards Group, DDB Needham and Publicis/Bloom have all been contacted by the home builder. Executives at each of those shops declined to comment.
Doug Stempowski, Centex vice president of sales and marketing, had not returned calls to confirm the contenders.
Stempowski acknowledged the review two weeks ago. He declined to say which agencies were being considered at that time, but in a statement said Centex was “in the process of selecting a national advertising agency to assist with formulating and executing branding strategies.”
Stempowski told Adweek Centex was asking agencies to propose media strategies outside the primarily print-driven regional work it has relied on in the past. He also said Centex would decide whether it would back the initiative after holding additional meetings with the agencies. A decision is expected by mid-October.
Each of the contenders is expected to recommend spending levels for a national ad campaign during the meetings. It is not known if the shops will also be asked to present spec creative as part of their pitches.
The winning agency may also be asked to create ads promoting the Fox & Jacobs name, which Centex recently reintroduced in the Dallas market. Centex uses several agencies around the country, including Rosenberg Advertising in Dallas, but sought shops with a broader range of resources for the new effort. Richards, DDB and Publicis/Bloom all boast national branding experience.
Centex Homes, a division of Dallas-based Centex Corp., has operations in 52 metropolitan markets in 20 states. Centex Corp. also is involved in the financial services, investment real estate, and contracting and construction fields.