Agencies from Boston, New York and outside Detroit have reached the final round in the Papa John's creative review.
The pizza maker identified the finalists as New York shops BBDO and Grey, Arnold in Boston and Doner in Southfield, Mich. Papa John's spends an estimated $120 million in media annually.
In narrowing the field, company chief marketing officer Bob Kraut cited the agencies' creativity, integration skills and quick-service restaurant experience.
For example, BBDO is the former longtime lead creative agency for Pizza Hut (where Kraut used to work) and years ago Doner worked on Domino's pizza. Kraut joined Papa John's in October.
The winning agency will succeed Zimmerman Advertising, which is not defending. Zimmerman, however, continues to plan and buy media for Papa John's and create franchisee and co-operative advertising. Neither of those assignments is in play.
The search, which began last month, is being managed by NJS Consulting in Miami. Papa John's hopes to select a new agency in February.