Blimpie's selection of Hasan & Co. to manage the agency search for its $10-15 million account came down to experience and what the client called a "comfort level."
Courtney Carrasco, vp of marketing for the Atlanta-based sandwich maker, said she liked the idea of working closely with the company's principal, Hasan Ramusevic.
He bested his former boss, Leslie Winthrop, managing partner of AAR Partners in New York, to land the assignment. "We liked that we would be dealing directly with him . . . instead of having the consultant subcontract it out," she said. "They're both very well respected in the industry."
Carrasco praised the experience of both contenders in conducting searches in the "quick-service-restaurant" category. When they worked together, Winthrop and Ramusevic ran reviews for Dairy Queen, Pizza Hut kids' marketing, Hardee's and Domino's Pizza. "It's exactly the type of quality brand that generates a tremendous amount of agency interest," said Ramusevic, 35.
He worked at AAR for 10 years, ascending to the position of managing partner, head of client services. In November 1999, he moved to Raleigh as director of new business for McKinney & Silver. He left the agency to establish Hasan & Co. in March 2001.
Blimpie last month said it would look for a new agency last month after parting ways with Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners West in San Francisco [Adweek, Sept. 10]. Blimpie is in the process of remodeling its stores and expanding its menu.
Questionnaires will go out in early November to about 10-12 agencies. A decision is expected in January.