IHOP Selects CarryOn for PR, Promos

LOS ANGELES Independent public relations firm CarryOn Communication said it has been chosen to handle marketing and promotional duties for the International House of Pancakes family restaurant chain.

IHOP selected CarryOn without a formal review, according to a representative of the Los Angeles-based shop. CarryOn senior vice president and lifestyle brand practice leader Claudia Bloom will lead account activities, the rep said.

While CarryOn’s consumer marketing and media-relations efforts on behalf of the Glendale, Calif., chain’s more than 1,200 North American restaurants would be ongoing, the rep said special emphasis would be placed on major celebrations such as National Pancake Day on Feb. 28. That promotion, she said, could include live, on-location remotes and “creative deliveries of pancakes to morning [TV and radio] shows.”

In addition, CarryOn would synergize with IHOP’s lead advertising agency, Interpublic Group’s McCann Erickson, Los Angeles, on certain creative efforts. Because the offices of both CarryOn and McCann are located within blocks of a 24-hour IHOP, the rep noted, “we get to go for research all the time.”

The client could not immediately be reached for comment. In a statement, however, the chain’s chief marketing officer Carolyn O’Keefe said that “with its deep industry experience and media-relations savvy, [CarryOn] is a natural fit for helping to grow the IHOP brand.”

IHOP spent $61 million on advertising in 2004, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. A public relations budget was not available.