CHICAGO„Publicis & Hal Riney has lost Subway restaurants, which has thrown its $90 million national ad account into separate media and creative reviews.
˜We needed a change," said Chris Carroll, director of marketing for the Milford, Conn.-based sandwich chain. ˜We need a lot of things to get the system turned around."
Subway has enlisted AAR/Bob Wolf Partners to run the search; proposal requests were sent late last month. A semifinalist list of 8-10 media shops and about 15 creative agencies should be ready this month, Carroll said. Riney was not asked to defend.
For media agencies, criteria will include size and buying ability in the U.S. and Canada, Carroll said.
On the creative side, retail experience, though not necessarily in the fast-food arena, will be a plus, as will creative ability in both TV and radio, which Subway invests in heavily, Carroll said. Geography isn›t an issue in either selection decision, he said.
Riney has had both portions of the Subway account for about nine years. In 1996, it bested four New York agencies to retain the business. The resulting campaign, tagged ˜Subway: The way a sandwich should be," remains in place today.
A media decision is expected by mid-February, with a creative outcome due in March following presentations by three or four finalists,
Carroll said. He joined Subway earlier this year from LensCrafters, having spent most of his career with Burger King.
The review does not affect Subway›s 27 local ad agencies, which share in the $98 million Subway spent in total last year, according to Competitive Media Reporting. K