Home 123 Business Goes Into Play

LOS ANGELES New Century Financial has launched a review for the ad account of its mortgage-lending subsidiary, Home 123.

The review, which includes both creative and media assignments, focuses mainly on direct-response and online efforts, and the work in play is worth $35-45 million, according to sources.

Omnicom Group’s Rapp Collins in Dallas has over the past year handled relationship marketing chores for the Home 123 division, including a branded Web site. Some of that work has featured home-improvement maven Bob Vila, already in place as the company’s pitchman when Rapp Collins was hired.

A Rapp Collins representative said the agency would defend the account.

The Irvine, Calif.-based client distributed requests for information last week via Santa Monica, Calif., consultancy Select Resources International; those RFIs are due to be returned next week, sources said.

Client and SRI officials could not be reached for comment.

Corporate branding for New Century is currently handled by Dentsu’s Colby & Partners, also in Irvine; in February, the shop introduced a campaign for the client themed “A new shade of blue chip.” Colby would not be affected by the subsidiary review, an agency executive said.

New Century has made significant recent efforts to extend the reach of Home 123. In late April, the company entered a two-year partnership to serve as the official mortgage lender of Nascar; last Friday, New Century said it would buy certain assets of RBC Mortgage, expanding its nationwide coverage by 135 branches.