Maiden Lane, Chevys Split Over Strategy

SAN FRANCISCO Less than three months after winning the account, independent Maiden Lane has resigned its position with Chevys Fresh Mex restaurant, the agency said today.

The split was due to strategic differences and an inability to agree on compensation, said Bob Gardner, president of the San Francisco shop. Maiden Lane had already completed radio and out-of-home work on the account.

“We’re not in the business of resigning accounts,” Gardner said. “But in this case, it’s better to part company.”

Maiden Lane—renamed and recast with three new executives in July after 28 years as Gardner Geary Coll—announced the win in August following a review that included San Francisco shops Eleven and Amazon Advertising, sources said. Trumpet Advertising in New Orleans previously held the Chevys account.

Maiden Lane believed Chevys “required a commitment to a total brand relaunch and rethinking, which is what we provided, but short-term promotions seem to be the order of the day,” said David Cumpton, the agency’s director of account management, in a statement. “We have enormous fondness for the Chevys brand and wish them the best of luck in the future.”

Chevys spent $1.6 million on advertising in 2004, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Accordining to sources, however, the ad budget was expected to reach $4 million by 2006.

The client could not be reached for comment.

Chevys opened its first restaurant in 1986, in the San Francisco Bay Area. Purchased by Real Mex Restaurants of Long Beach, Calif., in October 2004, the chain now operates 120 eateries in 15 states.