The Richards Group has won the estimated $1.5 million advertising account of White Lily Foods and Pioneer Flour Mills.
The Dallas agency's rival for the business, Ogilvy & Mather in Atlanta, withdrew from the competition late in the review.
The food brands are owned by C.H. Guenther & Son, headquartered in San Antonio. White Lily products include a range of flour, corn meal, muffin and brownie mixes, while the Pioneer line comprises gravies and sauces.
"We kept the list [of contenders] pretty short," said Kevin Janiga, vice president of consumer marketing at Guenther. "We had a lot of inquiries from smaller agencies, but we were looking for someone with a deeper creative bench."
At the same time, he said, it was Richards' work with smaller clients that impressed client executives.
"They had a lot of clients our size which made us more comfortable," Janiga told Adweek. "They have an industry reputation for taking clients who don't necessarily have the biggest budgets within their category and making them seem really big.
"I think [agency founder] Stan Richards feels like smaller clients give him a little more latitude in the creative," he continued.
Henderson Advertising of Greenville, S.C., resigned the account last year. The split was attributed to strategic differences. Another Guenther food label, White Wings, is a Hispanic-targeted brand advertised by Montemayor y Asociados in San Antonio.
Richards reported 1999 billings of $460 million. The agency's other clients include Chik-Fil-A, Motel 6, Nokia and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts.