The $10-15 million account of Shoney's Restaurants is in review.
The Nashville, Tenn.-based company began contacting shops last week to handle TV advertising that will run in the Southeast, where the Shoney chain is predominant.
The incumbent, Italia/Gal in Los Angeles, which has handled the business for about two years, will defend, said agency executives. Italia/Gal is also pitching the $40 million Long John Silver's restaurant-chain account, which would be a conflict.
Shoney's will continue to create outdoor ads in-house and is looking for a shop with solid broadcast credentials, said company executives. The total budget is about $25 million. Kent Smith, Shoney's svp of marketing and a former Procter & Gamble executive, is overseeing the review. A long list of contenders is expected to be compiled in about six weeks, with a winner selected in less than three months, he said.
Italia/Gal debuted new spots for the client in May using a humorous approach to communicate the quality of the ingredients going into the chain's recipes. The tagline: "Shoney's. It's your neighborhood family restaurant." --Joan Voigh