Firehouse Subs in Play; Dunn Mounts Defense

ATLANTA Firehouse Restaurant Group, the franchiser of Firehouse Subs sandwich shops, has launched a review of its $5 million advertising account, according to the company.

The Jacksonville, Fla.-based firm, which operates more than 170 restaurants throughout the Southeast, has hired Achenbaum Bogda Associates of Dallas to conduct the review. Both creative and media duties are at stake.

The search firm is sending requests for proposal to an undisclosed number of agencies in the Southeast, said Reji Puthenveetil, a representative for Achenbaum Bogda. The number of agencies competing for the account will be reduced to six or seven that will be asked to present credentials to the company. Final selection is expected by the end of January, Puthenveetil said.

The incumbent, Dunn & Co. of Tampa, Fla., has held the account for the past two years and will defend in the review. Firehouse Subs was one of the agency’s first accounts when it opened in 2002.

“This review process will show us what’s out there in terms of strategy, creativity and direction,” said Sally James, director of marketing for Firehouse.

Two brothers, both firemen, opened Firehouse Subs in 1994 with a single restaurant in Jacksonville. The company expects to have more than 230 locations by the end of this year and more than 1,000 by the end of 2008.