Texans Make Dial Soap Finals

Three contenders have emerged in Dial Corp.’s review for its $20 million advertising account.

The finalists are GSD&M in Austin, Texas, The Richards Group of Dallas and Suissa Miller in Los Angeles, according to sources.

The Scottsdale, Ariz.-based client is apparently looking closer to home after dropping incumbent DDB in New York from an initial list of six agencies.

Of the three shops remaining, Suissa Miller claims to have the most packaged-goods expertise. Agency principals Bruce Miller and David Suissa are both former brand managers at Procter & Gamble.

“We have a real heritage in this area. We’re literally the only agency run by two guys from P&G,” said Miller.

The agency’s clients include Beach Nut, Dole and Gallo Wine.

The Richards Group’s packaged-goods experience includes beer brands such as Corona (for importer Gambrinus) and Pilgrim’s Pride flour.

According to an agency representative, a recent internal survey at Richards revealed 800 years of combined packaged-goods experience among the creative and account management staff. Experience gained at other agencies has included work for clients such as P&G, Kraft, Campbell Soup, Schering-Plough and Kellogg’s.

At GSD&M, the story is the same—only a handful of relevant sector accounts, such as Airheads Candy and Parent’s Choice formula for WalMart. But the agency is quick to tout a staff that has worked on Coca-Cola, Coors, RC Cola, Miller Lite, Kool-Aid, Post Cereals, Quaker Oats and Nestlé.

Agencies will make presentations in Scottsdale early this week. A decision is expected almost immediately thereafter.

Dial Corp. has recently battled lowered earnings and reduced market share of its primary soap brand, which still leads the category at more than 12 percent.

Dial is said to be looking for a potential buyer, according to Hoovers Online.