Black Angus Searches

Steak House Chain Seeks GMO Successor
SAN FRANCISCO–Stuart Anderson’s Black Angus restaurant chain is looking for a new agency for the creative portion of its $10 million account.
The Los Altos, Calif.-based company and Goldberg Moser O’Neill, San Francisco, split in July, and the company just began its search for a replacement, said sources.
The chain is looking at an undisclosed list of small and midsized creative shops in California. When it picked GMO in 1993, it examined agencies in Southern California and the Bay Area. Western Initiative Media, Los Angeles, handles media chores.
The client bills itself as “America’s number one steakhouse,” and airs TV ads primarily in the Western states. GMO’s TV work has revolved around an intense cowboy character who performs macho feats such as gulping hot coffee directly from the pot and grabbing fish out of a river bare-handed.
Agency officials said they split with the company because they were not allowed to do the kind of creative work they wanted. “It was a frustration for us [creatively] for quite a while,” said an agency representative.
The agency used a similar explanation earlier this year when parting with another client, Optiva, for which it handled the Sonicare toothbrush. That business then went to Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, which repositioned the brand with a quirky new campaign [Adweek, Oct. 11].
Black Angus did not return calls by press time.
Sources said some of the shops the client has approached have declined to participate due to a heavy workload on their new accounts.