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RHI Restaurants Seek Creative Agency

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ATLANTA Rare Hospitality International has launched a review for the creative portion of its $25 million advertising account, according to the consultant handling the process.

Hasan + Co. in Raleigh, N.C., said it is contacting 12 agencies in the South, Southwest and Midwest to pitch the creative account. Incumbent Scharbo & Co. in Atlanta is not defending.

Atlanta-based RHI owns the Capital Grille, Bugaboo Creek Steak House and Longhorn Steak House chains. Last year the company spent $8 million on advertising, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. Rare is increasing its ad spending this year to $25 million, according to Hasan.

RHI, formerly known as LongHorn Steaks, awarded its media account to independent Camelot Communications in Dallas this past October. Camelot's role as media agency is not expected to change, according to the consultant.

The client operates 224 locations and is looking for a midsize creative agency with restaurant experience, Hasan added. A final decision is expected in mid-July.