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Ruby Tuesday Gets New Lead Shop

PI&C scores via past connections
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Two months after taking on a casino, People Ideas & Culture is getting into the restaurant business.

Ruby Tuesday has hired PI&C as its lead creative agency, as the casual dining chain ramps up its marketing efforts after a relatively quiet two years.

The brand's last lead shop was BooneOakley, which split with Ruby Tuesday in 2009. That year, media spending on the brand totaled just $4 million, down 86 percent from 2008's total of $28 million, according to Nielsen. Media spending inched up to more than $11 million last year and is expected to grow with the new agency in place.

PI&C's new creative chief, Mark Wnek, was part of the team that landed Ruby Tuesday, on the strength of past connections. Dan Dillon, the restaurant's svp of brand management, used to work with Wnek and PI&C founder Domenico Vitale when the duo was at Lowe and Dillon was chief marketing officer of Outback Steakhouse, a Lowe account.

Launched in 2009, PI&C in New York relies on outside partners in media, digital marketing, communications strategy, and production to service its accounts. Wnek, the former North American chairman and chief creative officer at Lowe, came aboard earlier this month