Donino’s Bid Wins Online Bidder

Auctioneer OpenSite Likes Atlantans’ Web, Mainstream Ad Savvy
ATLANTA – OpenSite Technologies, an Internet software and services specialist headquartered in Chapel Hill, N.C., has selected Donino, White & Partners here to handle brand advertising for its core business operation.
The Atlanta-based advertising agency came away the winner in a shootout against Allen & Gerritsen of Watertown, Mass.
The two shops were culled from a larger field of contenders that originally included Partners & Simons, Boston; Carat Freeman, Newton, Mass.; TFA/Leo Burnett, Chicago; and two New York agencies, iN2 and Organic Media.
Organic Media was awarded advertising for, a search engine for a collection of auction Web sites that utilize OpenSite Technologies software or services.
Founded in 1996, OpenSite Technologies is one of the largest auction Web site technology providers, currently boasting approximately 250 customers. According to a representative for one agency pitching the business, the combination of the two accounts is somewhere in the neighborhood of $5 million.
The client declined to provide a specific breakdown of how the advertising budget would be allocated between the two shops.
“We wanted to hire an agency that has more resources than what we need right now” said client marketing program manager Kim Tschirret. “We want a long-term partner who will grow with us. We don’t want to go through this again.”
“We have a great track record with e-commerce companies building a business,” said Eric Hyman, Donino’s strategic planning director. “We don’t need to be taught their business.”
Tschirret said OpenSite Technologies’ marketing department personnel heard presentations from the original set of finalists, “honing in on case studies from their past.” The Internet company then flew key on-staff members to the two finalists’ offices for a chemistry check and “to assess their home base and meet the folks who would handle our account.”
“They had a very disciplined process,” explained agency president Frank Donino. “They were clear about what they wanted and asked good questions throughout. They are very sharp.”
“A lot of the people we met either had a lot of online experience or traditional advertising experience, but it was tough to find one who could handle both,” Tschirret concluded. ¡