Long John Silver’s Holds Review

CHICAGO Seafood chain Long John Silver’s, a unit of Yum! Brands, has put creative duties on its $45 million account into review, according to sources.

Omnicom Group’s Element 79 here currently handles the business and is defending, sources said. Other contenders could not immediately be determined.

Element 79 has held the account since September 2004. Calls to the client were not immediately returned, and the incumbent declined comment.

LJS earlier this year broke a campaign using the slogan, “Throw boring overboard.” One spot depicted three fishermen pulling up a net of square-shaped “unnatural” fish designed to fit on a bun. While two express horror at the catch, the third—seen eating a flounder sandwich from LJS—points out that his food, “Ain’t that.”

The effort was meant to take on McDonald’s and other fast-food chains that sell breaded-fish sandwiches, but are mainly known for other fare.

LJS spent just over $30 million in U.S. measured media last year, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. But earlier this year, company officials indicated spending could increase as much as 50 percent to $45 million in 2007 [Brandweek, Feb. 12].

LJS has more than 1,200 outlets worldwide. Sales for the company have been flat at around $780 million between 2003 and 2005, according to Technomic in Chicago.

Yum! owns several other brands, including KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and A&W.

Interpublic Group’s DraftFCB handles KFC and Taco Bell out of its Chicago office, while Omnicom’s BBDO in New York is Pizza Hut’s lead agency. Element 79 handles A&W.

It remains unclear if the other Yum! roster shops are pitching the LJS business.