Brinker Restaurants Go Into Review

DALLAS Brinker International has put its advertising accounts for Macaroni Grill, Maggiano’s Little Italy and On the Border up for review, the company said.

Incumbent GSD&M of Austin, Texas, which has completed work on the Macaroni Grill and On the Border brands, will not participate in the review, a shop representative confirmed. GSD&M will continue to represent Brinker’s Chili’s Grill & Bar business.

“Brands have different needs,” said Louis Adams, director of public relations at Brinker. “We felt the best way to utilize GSD&M is to have them focus their resources on our flagship brand Chili’s.”

The Dallas-based restaurant operator has selected five agencies to compete in the review. The finalists are: Kirshenbaum Bond in San Francisco, Rapp Collins and Euro RSCG of Dallas and Chicago’s Downtown Partners and Draft. A decision is expected by October, Adams said.

Brinker spent $21 million on media in 2004 for the Macaroni Grill, Maggiano’s and On the Border brands, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. The client spent $123 million last year advertising all of its restaurants.

Brinker owns, operates, franchises or is involved in the ownership of more than 1,500 restaurants in 24 countries.