PORTLAND — The Via Agency, a Portland-based advertising firm, has won one of the ad industry’s top awards.

The firm, which has roughly 85 employees, was named Small Agency of the Year by industry publication Advertising Age.

Ann Morton, Via’s chief operating officer, said Via beat out firms from around the world to win the top honor.

“It’s as good as it gets,” Morton said. “It absolutely recognizes the talent pool, and the success and traction we have in the market.”

Morton said the award puts the company on the national stage, enhances Via’s visibility among major clients and highlights the city of Portland.

Via won the award for attracting new clients, growing at a rate of 20 percent and for effective marketing campaigns.

In 2011, the agency won work with 22 new brands, including the entire portfolio of Prestige Brands Inc., which owns Clear Eyes, Comet, Spic and Span and others.

Via also landed a major contract with Klondike, hired new staff from the industry’s leading and largest advertising firms and created a marketing campaign that preceded the launch of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab, a tablet computer that sold 3 million units.

In 2011, Via also moved to new offices in the Baxter Library on Congress Street.

Morton said the award highlights a trend in which smaller advertising firms are winning business away from major firms, which move slower and are charge higher rates.

“More and more, (clients) are turning to agencies like Via that are small and quicker,” said Morton.