Richards Group Goes on Defense

PrimeCo, down to a single market, is looking for a shop to handle its advertising account, sources said.

Ad spending was undisclosed, but annual billings were estimated by sources in the $10 million range.

Incumbent The Richards Group is defending the business, an executive at the Dallas agency confirmed, even though PrimeCo is concentrating on the local Chicago market.

“We know where Chicagoans live, work and play,” reads a line in the company’s Web site.

PrimeCo, which has shrunk through acquisitions and consolidation in recent months, is left with the single Chicago and downstate Illinois market.

Richards earlier this fall picked up the $10 million account of Metro-PCS, which is linked to PrimeCo through a holding company, Clarity Partners.

The agency had also previously worked with Cellular One and its predecessor, McCaw Cellular. MetroPCS will operate initially in Atlanta, Miami, San Francisco and Sacramento, Calif.

Sondra Dillon, director of marketing for the Itasca, Ill.-based personal communications servicesprovider, is supervising the review. Dillon could not be reached for comment at press time.