Texas Dairy Queen Calls First Review in 15 Years

The Texas Dairy Queen Operators’ Council has put its$7 million account into review, council president Larry Newell said, opening the door to competing agencies for the first time in 15 years.

Irving, Texas-based Grey, the agency that has held the account since 1987, will defend.

“The purpose of this review is to independently assess current marketing options for Texas DQ franchises,” Newell said. “One key element of our thought process is that we won’t wait 15 years [again]. We’re going to make this part of our routine.”

“It’s not an indication we’re unhappy with Grey,” he added.”It’s just a feeling on our part that this is a better way to manage our business.”

A request for proposal will be sent to select agencies within the next week. The account could be awarded as early as May, said Julie Wilson, founderof the Reasons Group, the consultancy conducting the search.

Wilson is also the former president of Grey, which relocated this year from Fort Worth, Texas, to Irving.

Losing the Texas Dairy Queen account would deal a major blow to Grey, which has downsized from about 35 employees last spring to 21. The shop’s only other major account is ProCuts.

“[Dairy Queen] is a terrific brand, and this is the nature of the business,” said Grey president John Duban. “We’re looking forward to demonstrating our firepower. Failure is not an option.”

Grey recently launched a new advertising effort for Dairy Queen with the slogan, “DQ: Something different.”

The Texas Dairy Queen account was originally awarded to McStay & Regian in Fort Worth, which later became Regian & Wilson. Grey purchased Regian & Wilson in January 1999, and Julie Wilson served as president and chief executive officer before handing the reins to Duban last year.