AlphaGraphics Shifts Account From Richards to DDB Needham

By Glen Fest

DALLAS–AlphaGraphics is keeping its $5-7 million account in the Dallas market, switching to DDB Needham after nearly four years at The Richards Group.

The Tuscon, Ariz.-based print, digital and Web services company was considering BBDO in Atlanta and Impact Communications Group of Chicago, but chose DDB to head a creative initiative that could include AlphaGraphic’s return to TV advertising.

Richards held the account since 1993 when AlphaGraphics moved it from in-house. The incumbent did not participate in the review. Client marketing director Gary Baraff declined comment on the split with Richards.

Jake Schroepfer, president of DDB Needham here, said discussions between his agency and the client took place for two months before a decision was reached. ‘They really are interested in . . . building their business and their brand,’ he said.

A national advisory council of AlphaGraphics franchisees is expected to give final approval on the media mix (including TV) this month, where ‘the intent . . . is to harness the resources to garner a significant advertising campaign,’ said Schroepfer. Radio, print and direct mail are expected to be employed.

Baraff said the selection of another Dallas agency was only a coincidence. More decisive was DDB’s global connections that impressed many franchisees. In addition, he said, ‘(DDB’s) creativity was evident in all aspects of their presentation, from media planning to advertising.’

Although the intended audience of DDB’s advertising are small and large businesses needing print and publishing services, reach will be attained through a mix of consumer and business-to-business means, according to DDB and AlphaGraphics.

AlphaGraphics’ locations in 25 countries mean DDB’s work will be adapted for those particular markets, according to Baraff.

The 27-year-old AlphaGraphics chain has 320 Printshop of the Future franchises, with expected 1997 revenues of $250 million.

Copyright ASM Communications, Inc. (1997) ALL RIGHTS RESERVED