Following a recent management shakeup at client LongHorn Steakhouse, Crispin Porter & Bogusky in Miami resigned the business late last week rather than participate in a review.
Crispin Porter & Bogusky (CP&B) held the $6 million national account less than one year.
"Things have not been going well," said Alex Bogusky, agency partner and creative director. "The people who hired us are gone," he added, referring to LongHorn vice president of marketing Lane Schmiesing and chief executive officer Dick Rivera, who left the restaurant chain last month.
Client officials could not be reached for comment at press time. Sources, however, said LongHorn had contacted several undisclosed agencies--possibly all in Atlanta--for a closed review.
CP&B was invited to participate, the agency said, but declined.
Since the agency won the business last fall, it created television, radio, print and outdoor ads as well as collateral for the client.
Signs of trouble in the relationship appeared last month when LongHorn brought its "Big-Haired Lady" spokeswoman out of retirement in the Atlanta market. The recycled ads, developed by LongHorn's previous agency of record, Scharbo & Co. in Atlanta, were used in lieu of CP&B's new campaign, introduced last spring.
That advertising campaign, which used the theme "Passion for steak," included four humorous television spots that have gained some notoriety. The commercials were named TV campaign of the year by Nation's Restaurant News in a competition for companies with annual sales of $150-500 million. In addition, one spot was recently featured on Fox's America's Funniest Commercials program.
LongHorn Steakhouse has 88 restaurants in eight states.