DETROIT-Shoney's Restaurants has begun contacting agencies nationwide for what will be its $26 million ad account, currently held by Bernstein-Rein Advertising.
Shoney's has tapped consultant Bill Weilbacher of Bismark Corp. in Dennis, Mass., to conduct the search, according to Susan Nardizzi, vice president of marketing for the Nashville, Tenn.-based chain.
The deadline for agencies responding to requests for proposals was Sept. 17, added Nardizzi, who joined Shoney's in November 1996. She replaced Gregg Kaplan, who hired Bernstein-Rein in May 1995. Weilbacher declined comment.
Shoney's spent $15 million on advertising in 1996 and $7 million through June 1997, according to Competitive Media Reporting. The rfp that was sent to agencies, however, projected 1998 spending at $26 million, sources said.
The rfp for Shoney's creative and media account was sent to shops of various sizes across the country, including some with category conflicts, said sources. The client hopes to reach a decision by the end of November, said Mimi Bliss, Shoney's communications director.
Bernstein-Rein in Kansas City, Mo., which created ads themed "Classic American food" featuring Andy Griffith, has been invited to participate, Bliss said. The agency did not return calls seeking comment.
Shoney's, operating 844 outlets, is the 24th-largest restaurant chain in the U.S.; second to Denny's in the family-dining segment, according to Restaurants & Institutions magazine.