Southwest Media Wins SCI’s Planning, Buying

DALLAS Southwest Media Group has won media planning and buying duties for Service Corporation International after a review that included five undisclosed finalists, the agency said.

Houston-based SCI calls itself the world’s largest funeral and cemetery services company, with more than 1,600 funeral homes, crematories and cemeteries in the United States and Canada.

“Southwest Media has demonstrated to us its ability to help us reach our markets in the most efficient and intelligent way,” said SCI spokesman Terry Hemeyer. “We look forward to developing a synergistic and successful working relationship in the coming months.”

The win comes shortly after SMG was selected as media planner and buyer for Salt Grass Steakhouse and Citgo lubricants. In 2004, SMG will place more than $125 million in media for a client list that includes Dillard’s Department Stores, R.H. Donnelley Yellow Pages, Cargill and Affirmative Insurance Holdings, the agency said.

SMG chief executive Bob Nichol said the agency’s track record as a retail specialist played a role in SCI’s decision.

“SCI also recognized the value and significance of our unique team structure that positions very senior staff to work hands-on and day to day on our clients’ business,” Nichol said.