Red Lobster has named Publicis Kaplan Thaler as its lead creative agency, reports AdAge.
The appointment follows a review, which Red Lobster started in April, after Darden decided to sell off the brand. Grey had been the brand’s creative agency after winning agency of record duties from The Richards Group back in 2010. According to AdAge, Grey did not participate in the review process, but retains creative duties for Darden brands Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse. They also report that Olson, Barkley, and Interpublic’s Martin Agency were the other finalists in the review process, which was overseen by Pile & Co.
Mark Gilley, senior vice president, marketing at Red Lobster told AdAge that “the chain chose Publicis Kaplan Thaler because of its creative pitches, its existing work and digital and social strategy, the last of which is [a] particularly important element for Red Lobster as it moves more marketing dollars into digital,” adding that he admired how the agency’s recent work for Wendy’s “‘broke conventions’ in the fast-food category.”
Publicis Kaplan Thaler’s first campaign for Red Lobster, which spent around $156 million on measured media in 2013, is expected in the first half of 2015.