Rives Carlberg has ac-quired marketing duties for the Houston Taco Bell Advertising Association, a co-op representing 96 area restaurants.
The decision followed a review of undisclosed agencies.
Rives' experience in the quick-service restaurant category was said to be a factor in its selection. The Houston shop has handled local advertising for Taco Bell sister firm KFC, a unit of Tricon Global Restaurants, for 15 years. It also has completed assignments for Taco Bell in smaller markets in South Texas.
"Hopefully we can grow the business here and get more markets like we did with KFC," said agency president Chuck Carlberg.
Having begun with the single Austin, Texas, territory, Rives' annual billings with KFC are now in the $7-8 million range and encompass most major markets in Texas and Louisiana.
"This puts us in a whole new restaurant segment," said Carlberg, who noted Taco Bell's demographic skews younger and more male than KFC. The agency will do some Hispanic marketing connected with the brand.
The Taco Bell account acquisition comes on the heels of another win— Philip Services Corp. The $1 billion Houston-based company provides industrial outsourcing, metal recycling and brokerage services.
"We chose Rives Carlberg for its on-target brand strategy and creative execution," said Steve Saboe, vice president of sales at PSC.
The selection of Rives did not involve a formal review.
Billings for both accounts were undisclosed.