North Carolina Shops to Merge

ATLANTA—Richard French & Associates and West & Vaughan have agreed to merge. Over the next 60 days, RF&A, North Carolina’s largest public relations firm in Raleigh, and ad agency W&V in Durham, N.C., will form an operating company housing three separate brands: Richard French & Associates, West & Vaughan and Wisse, Hollman & Co. Rick French becomes president and chief operating officer of the new company. Tom Vaughan, W&V co-founder, will be chief operating officer of the holding group and managing partner of the advertising unit. Bill West will serve as managing partner and executive director of creative services. WH&C, a spinoff of RF&A led by Jay Wisse, focuses on sponsorship sales for corporate clients.

Rawle-Murdy Hits Right Notes

ATLANTA—MBT International has assigned its estimated $1 million advertising and public relations account to Rawle-Murdy. The Charleston, S.C., shop outperformed The Lyerly Agency in Charlotte, N.C., and an undisclosed finalist. MBT, also located in Charleston, makes musical instruments and accessories, audio components, stage lighting and special effects equipment.

Huey/Paprocki Adds Dental Business

ATLANTA—Huey/Paprocki has added Inline Orthodontics to its client roster. Billings are projected at $1.5 million. Print work by the Atlanta agency will appear in trade magazines, supported by a direct mail and poster campaign. Two executions, targeting general dentists and related specialists, focus on new dental products as additional revenue streams. In each print ad, a dental bib is embossed with a headline: “Find more cabbage in your patients’ teeth” or “Miss this opportunity and you should floss between your ears.”

Louisiana Lottery Picks Media Direct

DALLAS—Media Direct has won the $5 million media buying account of the Louisiana Lottery following a review. The New Orleans-based media shop competed against the incumbent Graham Group of Lafayette, La., and two other undisclosed finalists. The creative account is handled in-house.

Arnold, Deutsch Talk to Boston Beer

BOSTON—Arnold here and Deutsch are among the agencies speaking with executives at Boston Beer about handling advertising for the client’s flagship Samuel Adams Boston Lager, sources said. McCarthy Mambro Bertino, the Boston incumbent launching “Taste the revolution” ads to support Samuel Adams Light, has also presented concepts for Boston Lager. Deutsch in New York handles some public relations work for the client.

Steak House Chain Selects Fogarty

DALLAS—Saltgrass Steak House has hired Fogarty Klein Monroe to create ads for the Texas chain’s expansion into new markets in the Southwest. The appointment followed a review of undisclosed agencies. Billings were not disclosed. The Houston shop will handle both creative and media planning. Saltgrass, also based in Houston, operates 27 company-owned restaurants.