DALLAS Ad veteran Steve Atkins has joined forces with Rudy and Heather Ruiz to form the multicultural agency Atkins/Ruiz.
Atkins serves as president of the new San Antonio entity. Rudy Ruiz serves as principal and creative director and wife Heather as principal and art director.
"The primary purpose is to create a partnership that reflects the diversity of the marketplace today," Atkins said. "And to be able to look at the marketplace holistically and provide a communications program that has appropriate cultural relevance and do that from the first thoughts, not the end results."
Atkins served as president of the former Atkins/Lord & Lasker in San Antonio before leaving in March 2002 to help his wife launch an athletic clothing company, BraziliaWear, and to act as a marketing consultant to a handful of Mexican companies.
His former agency began as The Atkins Agency in 1963, founded by his father, Chip. The shop changed its name to the Center for the Persuasive Arts in 2000 and merged with Tampa, Fla.-based Paradigm/Lord & Lasker a year later. The small shop renamed itself Lord & Lasker Texas after Atkins left.
The Ruizes operate Interlex, which specializes in public sector work for the Hispanic and general markets, is also based in San Antonio. Rudy, the shop's president, and Heather, the principal and art director, will continue to manage the agency. Clients of the 8-year-old shop include the Texas Department of Health and the Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau.
"In teaming with Steve we see tremendous opportunities to leverage the Atkins brand name and experience to have a broader range of accounts that will include retail and consumer goods," Rudy Ruiz said.
Atkins and the Ruizes have worked together before, most notably in the 2000 pitch for the San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau's ad account, which shifted from the Center for the Persuasive Arts after 18 years to local Hispanic shop Bromley Communications.
Ruiz said that because of Interlex's specialization, the shops would not compete against each other. The new 12-person agency has one client, the Playa Mujeres Resort development near Cancun, Mexico. Atkins had assisted the resort with strategic planning in the past. Billings are undisclosed.