Curtin Resigns The Melting Pot

Curtin & Pease/Peneco in Dunedin, Fla., last week resigned The Melting Pot Restaurants ad account. The Tampa, Fla.-based chain of fondue eateries is planning an agency review for early next year.
Former C&PP vice president Brenda Marrero-Ayoub, who left the agency last summer to become director of marketing for The Melting Pot, is leading the review. She pegged billings at $1.5-2 million.
C&PP said after 18 months of serving the client, it was “an appropriate time” to end the relationship. “The Melting Pot franchisees are now better schooled in advertising, [public relations] and promotions,” said CP&P president and chief executive officer Robert Wilson in a statement.
Marrero-Ayoub said The Melting Pot had intended to review its account and already has “a preliminary list” of undisclosed agencies around the country. Local shops in the Tampa, Fla., area will be considered.
Food category and national media buying experience are among the prerequisites for pursuing the account, Marrero-Ayoub said. Requests for proposals will be mailed in February; a decision will be made in April.
The Melting Pot signed C&PP as its first agency of record in the summer of 1996 [Adweek, Aug. 19, 1996]. During its tenure, the agency created radio, outdoor, print and collateral, plus a new logo and positioning line: “A flair for living, a taste for fun.”
Unaccustomed to having an agency of record, most franchisees have been buying and planning their own media, Marrero-Ayoub said. Whether that remains the case has not been determined, she added.
With 40 locations in markets such as Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, Seattle, Tampa and Washington, D.C., the chain plans to open new restaurants in some 10 markets over the next two years.
Separately, C&PP last week said it pulled in eight Florida accounts totaling $3 million in billings, including Peek Traffic and The Villages of Palm-Aire, both in Sarasota, and Sparton Electronics in Deltona.