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Supermarket Chain Considers Richards

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DALLAS The Richards Group is among the agencies contending for the advertising account of BI-LO Supermarkets, sources said.

The Dallas agency is vying for the estimated $5 million business against OneSource in Atlanta, Henderson Advertising in Greenville, S.C., and O2 Ideas in Birmingham, Ala., according to sources.

Richards lists H.E.B. among its clients, but sources said a conflict does not exist because that grocery chain only operates in Texas and Louisiana, where BI-LO does not have stores.

The Leslie Agency in Greenville, which has held the account for 27 years, declined the invitation to defend the business.

"I think they might need a fresh look at things," said Leslie president and creative director Carlos Jimenez. He added that the shop would continue to handle assorted projects in diversity marketing, public relations and planning for the Mauldin, S.C.-based company.

In January the client, a division of Ahold USA Retail in Chantilly, Va., combined its operations with Birmingham, Ala.-based Bruno's Supermarkets. The review encompasses the combined business.

The client could not be reached for comment. The agencies either could not be reached or declined comment.

BI-LO operates 303 supermarkets and 140 Golden Gallon convenience stores in the Carolinas, Georgia and Tennessee. Bruno's has 188 locations in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi.

—with Mindy Charski