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Levenson Spreads Its Wings on Church's

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DALLAS Levenson & Hill has created a promotional campaign for Church's Chicken, which is an additional assignment for the agency that generally handles only field marketing duties.

The independent Dallas shop produced television and radio spots for the promotion, which began yesterday and runs through Sept. 28 in the chain's markets. The offer gives customers who purchase select chicken meals a free Hollywood Video movie rental certificate.

The effort is the kind of work that was previously handled by roster shops BaylessCronin, a unit of Omnicom's Merkley Newman Harty & Partners in New York, and Gecko Motion Brand Builders in Johannesburg, South Africa. Levenson & Hill, which was the client's lead agency through much of the 1990s, generally handles only media-related field marketing duties for Church's.

Earlier this year financially strapped Church's cut the monthly retainer of Atlanta-based BaylessCronin nearly in half, sources said. The AFC Enterprises chain also began spreading its budget among roster shops, including Gecko, which sources said was a favorite of former chief marketing officer Ann Stone.

Stone left July 1, and a company representative said the client is actively seeking a replacement. An agency search is expected to follow, sources said.

Aegis Group's Carat North America handles media for the restaurant chain.

Atlanta-based Church's spent about $15 million a year on ads last year, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.