Erwin-Penland Wins Sandwich Chain

DALLAS Firehouse Restaurant Group, franchiser of Firehouse Sub sandwich shops, has hired Interpublic Group’s Erwin-Penland to manage its $5 million advertising account after a review, the agency said.

The Greenville, S.C., shop came out ahead of two other finalists, Austin Kelley Advertising and Fitzgerald + Co., both of Atlanta, after each was given a final assignment Jan. 7, said Mike Bogda, partner in the Dallas search firm Achenbaum Bogda Associates.

Firehouse Subs, founded 10 years ago by two brothers, Robin and Chris Sorensen, who were also Jacksonville, Fla., firefighters, expects to have more than 1,100 stores by the end of 2008. Each location has a firehouse theme, with memorabilia, photographs of fires and fire equipment, and a hand-painted mural that features a local firefighting motif.

For E-P, acquired by IPG’s Hill, Holiday, Connors, Cosmopulos in Boston a year ago, the win “had everything to do with our understanding of the soul of the company,” said svp Barry Finkelstein. “I think they were absolutely looking for an agency that could grow with them.”

“The three finalists are all excellent firms and each put forth a great effort during the agency review,” said Sally James, director of marketing for Firehouse Subs. “We are excited about the selection of Erwin-Penland and look forward to partnering with them to continue to build the Firehouse brand.”