G&M Plumbing, Del Taco Split

LOS ANGELES Citing “creative and strategic differences,” independent G&M Plumbing and quick-serve restaurant chain Del Taco have parted ways, the agency said.

G&M in Manhattan Beach, Calif., has handled the Del Taco creative account since 2000, according to agency principal and co-creative director Glenn Miller. The shop’s efforts on behalf of the Cal-Mex chain included a series of TV and radio spots featuring tortilla- and number-crunching “Dan the Taco Man.”

G&M’s most recent Del Taco work, a commercial highlighting the client’s newly introduced Crispy Fish Tacos, broke earlier this year.

“For five years we had terrific success building the brand while driving sales,” Miller said. “The campaign was a huge success and we were proud of the work we put on the air.”

Miller explained that following “changes in Del Taco’s marketing department”—most notably, the late October addition of former Hardee’s vice president of marketing Sharon Fogg—”we have been less proud of what we were allowed to do.”

“What we do is our brand,” he said. “We have to make sure we’re doing our best work, putting our best foot forward.”

The Lake Forest. Calif., client, which operates or franchises 445 restaurants in North America, spent about $10 million on advertising in 2004, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. In the past year, Del Taco has been expanding throughout the West, as well as into new markets in Indiana, Missouri and Wisconsin.

Client representatives were not immediately available for comment.