FCB Expected To Resign Some Flagstar Work

LOS ANGELES-Foote, Cone & Belding here is expected to give up some or all of its Flagstar Corp. accounts following its recent acquisition of $270 million in Taco Bell business.
As expected, Taco Bell last week tapped FCB to handle its $70 million field marketing account. TN Media, the media buying unit of FCB’s parent company, True North Communications, was assigned its estimated $200 million local and national media planning and buying.
The Flagstar accounts include creative and media work for El Pollo Loco and Coco’s restaurants and the media portion of the Carrows chain, totaling an estimated $30 million in billings.
El Pollo Loco in Irvine, Calif., has begun looking for a new agency to handle its estimated $10 million account [Adweek, Nov. 3]. FCB will remain the client’s agency of record until its contract expires in January.
Separate but concurrent reviews are under way for Carrows’ estimated $7 million account. Presentations were held last week, sources said, and a decision is expected soon.
Coco’s executives could not be reached for comment. FCB sources indicate that the agency will likely give up both the Carrows and Coco’s business.
El Pollo Loco is expected this week to send requests for proposals to 12 Southern California agencies, according to Joe Herrera, the company’s vice president of marketing. As responses come in, the list will be narrowed to finalists, Herrera said. Agencies will meet with the quick-serve chicken chain in December and receive a creative and strategic assignment. Presentations and a decision will be made in January.
“We want to see what [the agencies’] thinking is, and how it matches our philosophy,” Herrera said.
FCB/L.A. is currently in the process of completing El Pollo Loco’s 1998 TV campaign, which continues to feature comedian Paul Rodriguez. The new agency “may have an opportunity” to do additional TV work for the client in 1998 but will focus on collateral and media, Herrera said.