Sappi Fine Paper North America has selected three finalists in a review for its account, which includes design, collateral and trade advertising work.
Contenders are The Richards Group in Dallas, which is pitching with design affiliate RBMM; Arnold Worldwide of Boston; and Toth Brand Imaging in Concord, Mass., according to a representative of Pile and Co., the consulting firm overseeing the search.
Spending was not disclosed, but the annual budget is believed to be in the low- to mid-seven figures.
Final presentations are scheduled for the first week of February.
Sappi of Boston had worked with SiegelGale of New York. Executives with that agency could not be reached by press time.
The review was motivated by the client's desire to apply "more of an advertising focus" to its marketing efforts, the Pile representative said.
Both creative development and media chores are included in the assignment. Ads will target art directors, graphic designers and other professionals working in publishing, communications and design.
Despite the relatively modest budget, agency executives praised the creative opportunity that the Sappi assignment could provide.
"It is an amazing palette for us to do wonderful things," said Karen Riordan, executive vice presidentof Arnold's Integrated Ser-vices. Arnold has category experience, working for Champion International Paper in the late 1990s.
Arnold is also pitching with a design affiliate, Cipriani Kremer.
"It's a fun, showcase kind of client," agreed Amy Watt, creative director of Toth, whose clients include "American brands" such as Wrangler and Unionbay.
RBMM has worked for USA Cycling, Dr Pepper's Deja Blue Premium Drinking Water, the Dallas Symphony and Samsung.