Cox Communications Appoints Agency in Midwest

Cox Communications has awarded its marketing business to Doner.

The Southfield, Mich., agency won the evolving cable television company’s $20 million advertising account after an “arduous” review that includedTrone Advertising in Greensboro, N.C. and Atlanta, Martin/Williams of Minneapolis and Cramer-Krasselt in Chicago.

“We were looking for an agency that could bring a balance of brand and acquisition experience,” said Joe Rooney, vice president of marketing at Cox. “A solid operation that could manage both corporate and field marketing needs.”

Atlanta’s RedDragon Consulting, a division of The Bedford Group, conducted the search.

“It was as close as a gnat’s eyebrow,” said RedDragon principal Jane Bedford. “We used a factor analysis approach. Everything was weighed and scrutinized, and still it was a tough call.”

The account went into review last December when incumbent BBDO South resigned after its agency network won Cingular Wireless’ $250 million account.

Cox Communications, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based media conglomerate Cox Enterprises, operates 25 cable TV systems in 70 markets. Rivals include AT&T, AOL Time Warner and Comcast.

Much of Cox’s cable product is broadband, delivering streaming media, voice, data and interactive content to consumers. “We are in a heavy acquisition mode,” said Dena Malsom, Cox’s director of creative services.

Cox also needed a marketing partner to help mesh the system’s disparate parts and competing priorities. “There were 14 people on the review committee,” said one agency president who pitched the business. “Most were regional sales guys. We’re talking brand-building and strategy. They wanted to hear about $20 rebates and sales promotions.”