Richards Makes Cut for Meat Biz

ATLANTA Honey Baked Ham Co. has narrowed its search for an agency to handle its $6 million account to two shops and expects to make a final decision Jan. 6, the company said.

Independent The Richards Group in Dallas and Interpublic Group’s Mullen in Winston-Salem, N.C., were selected as the two finalists from a list of five agencies that survived the first cut. The other three contenders were independent Sawyer Riley Compton and IPG’s Fitzgerald + Co., both in Atlanta, and the Dallas office of Denver-based Omnicom Group shop Integer. The company visited all five agencies before making the cut.

The incumbent, Austin Kelley Advertising of Atlanta, did not defend the account. The IPG shop held the business for the past 12 years.

Atlanta-based Honey Baked Ham sent out 15 requests for proposals and received 13 replies earlier this year, said JoAnn Herold, vice president of marketing at the company. The search was handled by Hasan + Co.

Honey Baked Ham is a privately owned company with stores in 13 states, mostly in the Southeast. The company does not disclose its annual sales.