ANN ARBOR, MI: Domino's Pizza is searching for a new agency of record, as Vorhaus & Co., its partner of almost ten years, is changing its business model from agency to consultancy and resigning its consumer clients.
The estimated budget for the first year of work is $500,000, according to Tim McIntyre, Domino's corporate communications VP. The company, whose shares began to trade publicly last week, has issued an RFP to eight agencies. McIntyre declined to identify them, but said they comprise "a nice blend of multinationals and midsized agencies, primarily in New York and Chicago."
In an interview, McIntyre offered a detailed description of the pizza giant's selection process. Among other requirements, Domino's is mandating that it be able to choose the agency staffers who will work on the account, said McIntyre, who made it clear the company isn't just looking for extra hands to send press releases.
"We've got a strong internal team and we've been doing this for a long time," McIntyre said. "We're looking for an agency to partner with us strategically and to put Domino's Pizza in front of consumers in places and ways they least expect it. It's easy to get in the trades and business page. That stuff doesn't impress me."
In the first phase, the agencies will submit a credentials package that includes case studies, not creative ideas for Domino's.
"We're saying to the agencies, 'Show us what you've done, what the challenge was, what you did about it, and how you tracked results, not only in terms of media impressions, which are easy, but did the product move based on what you did? Did you help your client sell the stuff?'"
From there, three or four surviving agencies will be asked to develop a plan for a Domino's product rollout.
The agencies in the running are expected to submit their credential packages this week. The Domino's PR team, working with the company's EVP of marketing and EVP of IR and communications, will then winnow down the list. McIntyre said the company intends to have an agency in place by Oct. 1, when it begins planning for 2005.
The Domino's search has been aided by its former AOR, New York-based Vorhaus, which at the end of this month will officially go from a full-service PR firm to a consultancy. The consultancy will retain crisis-management and corporate board member clients.