Gugel, T3 Gain Assignments From H.E. Butt

H.E. Butt Grocery Co. last week assigned advertising duties for two retail concepts while confirming it is nearing a decision in the estimated $8 million media planning and buying review for its primary string of stores.
HEB retained Gugel Advertising in Dallas for media planning and buying for its 82 Pantry stores and hired Austin, Texas, agency T3 for creative and media duties on its Central Market specialty concept.
Client public affairs representative Michael De La Garza said last week the media buying review for roughly 170 HEB Food Stores was still ongoing.
“That will be done after the first of the year,” said De La Garza.
T3 officials set Central Market billings at $1.5-2 million annually, but spending for HEB’s Pantry and Food Stores were undisclosed.
According to Competitive Media Reporting, the grocery chain spent $1.1 million last year in measured media for its Pantry unit and $7.5 million for the larger HEB Food Stores division.
De La Garza would not disclose which shops were still pitching for the Food Stores business. When the review surfaced in September, Gugel was among several early contenders that included The Richards Group, Dallas, and Mann & Mann, The Atkins Agency, Anderson Advertising and Parker & Wood Association, all San Antonio.
With the exception of Anderson, all the contenders already had HEB advertising chores. Media has been split between Gugel, Mann and an in-house unit.
Gugel’s work for the Pantry Foods units will include the Texas markets of Houston, Beaumont/Port Arthur and Tyler/Longview, as well as Lake Charles, La.
T3 is the first agency dedicated to the Central Market units, with duties including a 1999 branding campaign, recruitment advertising and public relations. HEB has two Central Market stores; a third is scheduled to open in January 1999.