Century 21 Stores in Play

Department store chain Century 21 is reviewing creative and media duties on its advertising account with an eye toward consolidating both at a single shop, according to a request for information distributed to interested agencies.

Currently, those assignments are split between independent Modco Creative in New York and The Media Kitchen, a unit of MDC Partners’ Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners, also in New York. Each has been invited to defend, said Lisa Colantuono, a managing partner at AAR Partners, a New York consultancy that’s managing the search.

Century 21 hopes to complete the review in February.

The client’s advertising budget is $4 million, which includes the cost of production, creative development, media services and agency fees, the RFI states.

Century 21 describes itself as a high-end designer discount store with locations in New York City, Long Island and New Jersey.

The retailer’s major media spending has been relatively modest in recent years, totaling around $2 million annually in 2009, 2008 and 2007, according to Nielsen. In the first seven months of 2010, media spending totaled $1 million, per Nielsen. Those figures don’t include online spending, which is part of the business in review.

Currently, most of Century 21’s media dollars go toward newspapers (28 percent), followed by outdoor venues (26 percent), radio (25 percent), the Web (12 percent) and television (9 percent), according to the RFI.