L/C Ices Friendly’s

Within a year of landing at a West Coast shop, Friendly Ice Cream has moved its $20 million account to Laughlin/Constable.

The Wilbraham, Mass.-based chain of about 600 restaurants chose the Chicago shop after a review that included the incumbent; GMO/Hill, Holliday; and Rotter-Kantor, New York.

GMO/Hill, Holliday, the San Francisco unit of Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos in Boston, picked up the business last August based on a past relationship between Friendly president and COO John Cutter and Goldberg Moser O’Neill, GMO’s predecessor shop.

Relationships also played a role in L/C’s win. Friendly’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Robert Hogan, knew L/C from his time at former agency client Bertucci’s. Hogan joined Friendly’s subsequent to its hiring of GMO. The review began about three months ago.

A campaign from L/C is expected to go into production shortly and break in early May. The work is expected to be family-oriented and play on the nostalgia of the ice cream parlor.

“The equity of Friendly’s is memories,” said Dean Procter, L/C’s Chicago-based president.

In addition to pushing Friendly’s 600 stores in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, L/C will handle the company’s line of grocery products, which include frozen banana splits, sundaes and ice cream cakes under brand names including Fribble shakes, Happy Ending Sundaes, and Wattamelon Roll desserts.

Prior to GMO, Friendly’s worked on a freelance basis with Terry Heffernan Films in San Francisco following a split with the now defunct Berry-Brown Advertising in Dallas.