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Dining Chain in Play

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The 650-unit Boston Market restaurant chain is in the final stages of a review for the creative portion of its $20 million account, sources said.

"We expect to have a decision within the next few weeks," said Phyllis Hammond, senior vice president of communications for the client, which is based in Golden, Colo., and operates units in 28 states.

Hammond acknowledged that the incumbent agency, Suissa Miller in Los Angeles, is defending the account but declined to identify the other participants. She also declined to comment on the reasons for the review.

Suissa Miller, an Interpublic Group agency, has handled the account for more than six years.

A Suissa Miller representative declined comment and referred questions about the account to the client. The agency has also handled creative for the Boston Market line of bottled gravy for two year. That product line, however, is marketed by the ketchup, condiments and sauces division of H.J. Heinz of Pittsburgh and is operated separately from the restaurant chain.

This is the first time the casual-dining chain's account has been in review since Suissa Miller signed on, sources said. It is also the first review the chain has conducted since being acquired three years ago by McDonald's Restaurant Corp.

Since the acquisition, McDonald's has taken significant steps to trim expenses at Boston Market, closing approximately 350 of the 1,000 units it acquired.

Ads for the chain over the past year have been built around the theme "Slow down" and have featured images of families enjoying a leisurely dinner at a Boston Market restaurant.