GBS was able to keep both accounts on its plate while Chevys, with $100 million in sales, remained a regional chain with 37 restaurants and a $2-million ad budget. But Taco Bell, a subsidiary of PepsiCo, plans to expand the business to a $1-billion chain with 200-300 units in the next five years. Carl's, which last year spent $11 million on media according to LNA, might find sharing an ad agency with Taco Bell, which has proven a fierce competitor, tough to swallow.
Karen Eadon, the newly appointed vp of marketing for Carl's Jr., declined comment on the situation, but rivals read the latest development as an opening. 'It sounds like an opportunity for a lot of people to get a foot in the door,' said Scott Montgomery, partner and co-creative director at Salvati, Montgomery & Sakoda/Costa Mesa, Calif., a onetime contender for Carl's.
Peter Stranger, president of Stranger & Associates/L.A., who handled Carl's with Della Femina McNamee, thinks GBS's future with Carl's Jr. will have less to do with the acquisition on the table and more to do with a new campaign due next month. 'People are always calling on Carl's,' he said. 'If Goodby has a winning on-air campaign, they will back off.'
GBS managed to sidestep one potential conflict this year when it picked up Porsche Cars North America in spite of the fact that the agency handles American Isuzu. Rich Silverstein, GBS co-chairman, said the shop has not yet had any discussion with either of its clients over potential conflicts, but added that he was confident the agency could continue to service both accounts. 'There hasn't been a conflict yet,' he said. 'Clients are loosening up on that type of belief.'
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)