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Fazoli's Selects Freedman, Gibson & White

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ATLANTA Freedman, Gibson & White has been named the agency for Fazoli's Italian Restaurants following a three-month review, the client confirmed.

The independent Cincinnati shop bested finalists including incumbent Meridian Communications of Lexington, Ky.; Wyse Advertising and Brokaw Communications, both in Cleveland; and WestWayne in Atlanta.

Greg Lippert, chief marketing officer for Lexington-based Fazoli's, said that FG&W would handle strategic development, creative services, product development, media planning, public relations, brand extensions and promotions. The shop will begin work on the account April 1, Lippert added.

Annual sales by the restaurant chain, a cross between the fast-food and fast-causal categories, have remained flat at $200 million for the past three years, according to Hoover's Online. Previous advertising by Meridian featured the tagline, "Real Italian. Real fast."

Lippert said that the goal of the new work would be building a powerful corporate image for guests, employees and franchise partners.

"We based our evaluation on specific criteria including brand stewardship, creative, culture and finding a results-oriented agency with a proven track record in the retail sector," Lippert added.

Billings are approximately $18 million, the shop said.