El Pollo Loco Selects Y&R Cos.

LOS ANGELES Fast-food chicken chain El Pollo Loco said it has awarded its $7 million creative and media account to the Y&R Cos.

The Irvine, Calif., shop edged out finalists Grey in Los Angeles and Krueger in Torrance, Calif., for the win. The incumbent, Dailey & Associates in West Hollywood, Calif., did not participate. El Pollo Loco will continue to work with its Hispanic agency, cruz/kravetz: Ideas in Los Angeles.

Effective Marketing Strategies in Surprise, Ariz., led the agency search.

The decision comes as El Pollo Loco embarks on a brand transformation, which will include new products, new advertising and a new prototype restaurant.

Client chief marketing officer Karen Eadon noted that El Pollo Loco was looking for an agency with “a passion for building strong brands, a collaborative approach consistent with our culture, and world-class talent that could jumpstart El Pollo Loco’s brand transformation.” Of Y&R, she said: “Their strategic abilities, coupled with their research capabilities, vision and creative insight, will serve our brand well as we reposition ourselves for the future.”

Y&R’s first ads for the Irvine-based client are expected to break in May.