Square One, Richards Vie for Dallas Morning News Account

The Richards Group and Square One are contending against the Dallas Morning News’ internal shop for creative ad duties for the newspaper, sources said. The first assignment is expected to be a rebranding effort.

The paper’s large in-house staff has handled its estimated $3 million advertising account since June 1999, when it was pulled from DDB in Dallas. Client representative Lee Qualls would only say, “We have asked several agencies to look at a project for The Dallas Morning News.”

The review comes as Belo Newspaper Group’s flagship newspaper competes with Fort Worth’s Star-Telegram for readers that live between the two cities, in what are called the “mid-cities.” Among them, Arlington, Euless and Beford. Both Richards and Square One are based in Dallas.

Dean Aitken, vice president of marketing at the San Antonio Express News, has found it useful to use an external agency, Creataive Civilization, for branding. “Newspapers are marketers to begin with but there