Developments at Trone: Maxim Direct, BuildNet

BuildNet, a developer of residential construction management software, has hired Trone Advertising and its new marketing arm, Maxim Direct, to create and launch an integrated campaign.
Trone and Maxim bested two other finalists, Henderson Advertising in Green-ville, S.C., and Baltimore’s Richardson, Myers & Donofrio, in a review that began with more than a dozen agencies in contention.
Annual billings were not disclosed, but a source familiar with the account said spending was expected to top $5 million.
BuildNet’s software allows home builders to track and manage all phases and purchases involved in a construction project.
The Research Triangle Park, N.C., firm has been developing building industry software for 10 years. Following its acquisition of five software suppliers last May, BuildNet wants to establish itself in the e-commerce and construction solutions fields through a b-to-b online network.
Agency chairman Lee Trone said the BuildNet assignment is the first win for the new division, Maxim Direct, spun off at the end of 1999 from the company’s direct marketing department.
Will Spivey, a former Trone intern, has been named Maxim’s president. He previously served as director of client services at Targetbase Marketing, a recent Omnicom acquisition. Ross Schlemmer has been appointed creative director.
“This is a great opportunity to build a direct marketing agency from the ground up,” Spivey said.
Maxim is the third specialty business to arise from the Greensboro, N.C., shop’s core operation. In 1997, Trone Public Relations was formed. Internet marketing unit Symetri was launched last fall.
Separately, Lee Trone was nominated to the American Association of Advertising Agencies’ board of directors, representing the South.