El Torito Caps Grey Hot Streak

By Angela Dawson

LOS ANGELES–After a two-month review, Grey Advertising here has emerged the winner of the estimated $5-6 million El Torito Restaurants account.

The agency prevailed over finalists Asher/Gould in Los Angeles and the Santa Monica, Calif., office of The Leap Partnership. Incumbent Cohen/Johnson in Los Angeles had participated earlier in the review, but was eliminated from the competition before the final round.

The El Torito win caps a successful, nine-month new business streak for Grey’s Los Angeles office. Since September, the agency has won the accounts of the Los Angeles/Orange County Mitsubishi Dealer Advertising Association, the California Lottery and the Lipovitan energy drink.

‘It is pleasing to us to be recognized for our creative firepower,’ said Jeff Alperin, Grey’s chief executive officer of the Western division. ‘Our creative excellence played a critical role in every one of these reviews.’

The client could not be reached for comment at press time.

Grey’s pitch team included Alan Kupchick, vice chairman and chief creative officer of the Western division; Larry Varnes, vice chairman and chief operating officer of the Western division; Craig Silver, senior vice president and management supervisor; Lisa Self, vice president, media director; and Doug Morris, senior vice president and group creative director. Silver will serve as the management supervisor of the account, Alperin said.

Mike Agate of Select Resources International in Los Angeles was the consultant on the review, which started in April.

El Torito, founded in 1954, operates restaurants primarily in California. It is a subsidiary of Family Restaurants Inc. in Irvine, Calif.

Grey assumes ad duties on the account July 1. About $2 million of the El Torito budget will be devoted to Casa Gallardo advertising. The St. Louis-based Casa Gallardo is also a subsidiary of Family Restaurants.

…..–with Teresa Buyikian

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