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Captain D's Taps TM Advertising

Zimmerman quit seafood chain in August
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Captain D’s Seafood Kitchen has a new agency: TM Advertising.  The Dallas-based agency replaces Zimmerman, which resigned the business in August.

Media spending is estimated at $7 million-$10 million, according to sources. The appointment ends a three-month review which came down to TM; Barkley in Kansas City, Mo.; Brunner, Pittsburgh; and The Buntin Group, Nashville. 

Captain D's decision follows changes in its top management ranks. In mid-September, the company replaced CEO David Head with Phil Greifeld, who had been chief executive at Huddle House restaurants. The chain’s evp, marketing Monte Jump participated in the current agency review, but by November he too was out at Captain D’s, a company he had just joined in April. On Dec. 1, Greifeld brought in Jonathan Muhtar as CMO, a fast-food executive whose most recent job was vp, global marketing and innovation for Burger King.

Ft. Lauderdale-based Zimmerman was hired by Captain D’s in January 2010. After the chain brought in Jump earlier this year, Zimmerman’s Michael Goldberg, who was then the agency’s CMO, quit the business and made an unusual public criticism of his new client.

After Muhtar joined Captain D’s earlier this month, agency participants repeated their pitches, and the new CMO made the final decision along with Greifeld, who had been involved in the search process from the beginning.

The Nashville-based restaurant chain operates and franchises 527 Captain D’s locations in 25 states, primarily in the South and Midwest, as well as on military bases around the world.