Papa Johns Puts National Marketing Agencies in Review

By Kyle O'Brien 

Papa John’s International, Inc. will issue a review of its national marketing agencies. The review is aimed at accelerating the brand’s analytics-led approach to marketing and consolidate and optimize its partners moving forward, according to a release.

The statement stated that Papa Johns is prioritizing potential partners in media and creative that can continue to help establish the superiority of its pizzas and share common brand values, including a targeted focus on diversity, equity and inclusion.

Papa Johns had been working with Havas agency Camp + King starting in 2019, and with Havas Media since 2018.


Chief marketing officer Mark Shambura, who has been with the brand since May, will lead the agency review process as part of his oversight of advertising, media and field activation, menu strategy, product innovation and digital customer experience for Papa John’s.

“We express gratitude to our current agency teams for their partnership and the impactful work we have produced together in the past five years,” said Shambura in a statement. “As we look beyond a post-Covid world, both Papa Johns and the landscape we operate in have shifted significantly.”

Shambura went on to say that Papa Johns has evolved as a company, and its marketing efforts need to innovate to meet the needs of the company as well as changing consumer habits.

“We are taking the opportunity to reassess our partnerships and embrace new perspectives and expertise that will set us up for the next three-to-five-years. We are looking for partners who will develop breakthrough strategy and creative work, are collaborative with each other, bring a multicultural perspective, and are representative of the communities we speak to,” added Shambura.

Papa John’s also hired Jaclyn Ruelle, formerly svp, managing director of cultural impact and brand communications at The Martin Agency, as its vp head of brand in September of last year. Prior to Martin, Ruelle was at MullenLowe U.S. for nearly nine years.

The agency search will begin this month and will include select, invited agencies to participate. Pile and Company will handle the review.

Papa Johns has continued its transformation following the ouster of founder and former chairman John Schnatter in 2018 due to his use of a racial slur.