Ayer Tapped to Plan Seafood Chain’s Future

By Ellen Rooney Martin

CHICAGO–N.W. Ayer & Partners here has won an assignment from Long John Silver’s to come up with concepts to revamp the fast-food chain’s future image, sources said.

The assignment follow’s Ayer’s win of DenAmerica’s Black-eyed Pea restaurant account (Adweek, April 14).

Ayer was chosen by Long John Silver’s after a review including two or three other agencies for the test concept project, confirmed Mark Sievers, executive vice president, chief administrative officer for the Lexington, Ky.-based chain.

‘I am the project leader for a tightly focused strategic project, and we are looking at some concept options,’ Sievers said. He would not elaborate further on the company’s plans or discuss financial details of the fee-based assignment with Ayer.

Ayer will look at all aspects of the fish retailer’s operations, from its food to the architecture of its units, as part of the ‘Creating the Future for Long John Silver’s’ project, sources said.

Ayer executives declined comment.

The retailer is looking at ways to improve its offerings and expand its menu beyond mainly deep-fried menu options. The company also wants to make the chain’s appearance more upscale.

Long John Silver’s recently completed a national agency search, naming Jordan, McGrath, Case & Taylor in New York agency for its $45 million broadcast creative account.

The two agencies will not work together on any assignments, according to sources.

Ayer did similar concept work for Pizza Hut that sources said gave the agency the edge during the Long John Silver’s recent review. Ayer worked on concept and test market projects for Pizza Hut for 16 months. That relationship ended in March.

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