Sonoco Seeds 3 in First Review

Jackson-Dawson, Price-McNabb and Sawyer Riley Make Finals
ATLANTA–Three Southeast shops have been appointed finalists in the initial agency search conducted by Sonoco Corp., a producer of packaging materials for industrial and consumer applications.
Dick Puffer, director of corporate communications for Sonoco in Hartsville, S.C., confirmed that the company had narrowed an original field of eight contenders to three. The finalists in the review are: Jackson-Dawson of Greenville, S.C.; Price-McNabb in Charlotte, N.C.; and Sawyer Riley Compton of Atlanta.
“We’re looking to [address] branding type issues more so than we have in the past,” said Puffer. “We don’t know yet how much or what work is going to be encompassed, but we anticipate it’s going to be for all the divisions and [focus on] business- to-business [advertising].”
Puffer said Sonoco was expecting to make an agency decision before the end of February.
Though he said it was too early to place a fixed dollar value on Sonoco’s advertising account, Puffer estimated “it could be between $500,000 and up to $1.5 million by the time all is said and done.”
Once source close to the review process said the client was looking for the winning agency to help set an annual budget after helping to define specific needs.
Currently, Sonoco is using Lux & Associates, a one-woman shop in Columbia, S.C., for its copywriting requirements. The client outsources other creative elements.
Puffer said Sonoco would continue to work with Lux & Associates, but the scope of its new branding work required the services of a larger advertising partner.
Sonoco has also worked with independent consultant George Cohan of Henderson, Nev., for a majority of its business-to-business communications. Puffer said the company has asked Cohan for his input during the review before making its final decision.
The international corporation, which is celebrating its centennial this year, had sales of $2.8 billion in 1997. Sonoco manufactures products like the core for Pringles’ potato chip cans and frozen juice concentrate containers. The company is also one of the leading producers of recycled paperboard.