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Pizza Chain Taps Y&R

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NEW YORK Round Table Pizza has selected the San Francisco office of Young & Rubicam to handle creative duties on its ad account after a review, client chief marketing officer Pinka Gordon confirmed today.

WPP Group's Y&R bested two undisclosed agencies to land the business. Boston-based consultancy Pile and Co. managed the review.

Major media spending on the brand totaled $17 million last year and $18 million in the first nine months of 2008, according to Nielsen Monitor Plus.

Round Table selected Y&R in part because of its experience developing long-term campaign ideas such as "Human Energy" for Chevron, said Gordon, who joined the client three months ago. The new agency's first work is expected in late February or early March.

The win is the first for Y&R San Francisco under new president and CEO John Berg, who started in October. It also comes as the office loses creative duties on Diet Dr Pepper, which is shifting to Interpublic Group's Deutsch/LA in Marina del Rey, Calif.

Y&R succeeds independent WongDoody in Culver City, Calif., which had handled the account since 2007. Pal 8 Media in Santa Barbara, Calif., continues to handle media duties.

WongDoody's work featured a character in full body armor known as the Pizza Knight.

Round Table, a private company, operates more than 500 restaurants, primarily on the West Coast. It claims to be the fifth-largest casual dinning pizza chain in the U.S.