TGI Friday’s Picks Media Shops

Pohmedia has added lead media chores on TGI Friday’s ad account and will partner with another independent shop, Horizon Media, for most buying duties, the eatery said today.

The client spend nearly $30 million in measured media through the first five months of 2010 after spending $52 million on ads during all of last year, per Nielsen.

“Having worked with the Pohmedia team in the past I am excited to bring them on board to help the TGI Friday’s brand,” said Trey Hall, client CMO, in a statement. “I believe that their nimble, media neutral approach and forward thinking attitude will help TGI Friday’s make the most of our advertising investment in today’s fast moving and ever changing media environment.” Hall worked with the Sunrise, Fla.-based agency during his 2002-05 tenure leading marketing at Quiznos.

TGI Friday’s creative and digital duties remain at Publicis and Digitas, respectively. Those shops, along with Publicis Groupe media sibling Spark Communications, were hired by the chain following a review completed in May 2009.

It was unclear if there was a review this time around, and a client rep declined to discuss the matter.

The casual-dining category has been extremely active of late, with Buffets, Church’s Chicken, Boston Market, Fazoli’s and Bojangles changing shops. TGI Friday’s, however, is the largest chain so far to make such a move.

Texas-based TGI Friday’s — owned by privately held Carlson Restaurants — suffered a 6.4 percent revenue dip to $1.8 billion in its last fiscal year, per market research firm Technomic. There are 928 locations worldwide (more than half in the U.S.), including the TGI Friday’s, Friday’s Front Row Sports Grill and Friday’s American Bar brands.