6 or 7 Agencies Make Shoney’s Semifinal List

DETROIT-Shoney’s Restaurants has narrowed the review for its $26 million ad account to six agencies, including two-year incumbent Bernstein-Rein Advertising in Kansas City, Mo.
Susan Nardizzi, vice president of marketing for the Nashville, Tenn.-based family restaurant chain, said the first round of the review may also include the addition of an undisclosed seventh agency. In addition to Bernstein-Rein, the semifinalists are: Eisner & Associates in Baltimore; Long Haymes Carr in Winston-Salem, N.C.; McKinney & Silver in Raleigh, N.C.; Partners & Shevack in New York; and WestWayne in Atlanta.
“There is one other outstanding agency that at this time hasn’t completed the formal correspondence with us” Nardizzi said.
Nardizzi and consultant Bill Weilbacher, of Bismark Corp. in Dennis, Mass., along with several other marketing executives from Shoney’s, will visit each of the agencies in the last week of October for credentials presentations, she said. “I’m asking for [credentials covering] all their various disciplines: creative, media, account management and field marketing, which is very important for us, with over 800 restaurants,” Nardizzi said.
Shoney’s spent $15 million on advertising in 1996, according to Competitive Media Reporting, but has projected ad spending of $26 million during 1998.
Three or four finalists will be named and the final presentations will take place in late November or early December in Nashville, Nardizzi said. Bernstein-Rein is automatically a finalist and will not have to participate in the credentials phase, Nardizzi said. “We are very familiar with their credentials now and I’m not going to make an incumbent do that because I think it’s insulting,” she said.
Nardizzi said she will give the finalists a creative assignment in the last round. Final presentations will be made to Nardizzi, Shoney’s board members, franchisees and senior management officials, she said.