Four Agencies Vie for CiCi’s Pizza

Selection expected next month

CiCi’s Pizza has narrowed the field in its creative and media review to four finalists.

Two of the agencies—The Richards Group and Publicis—are in Texas, near the CiCi’s headquarters in Coppell, Texas. (Richards is in Dallas and Publicis, in Plano.) The other shops are Barkley in Kansas City and MARC USA in Chicago. The contenders emerged after executives from the casual dining chain visited seven shops.

The winner will replace incumbent Deutsch/LA in Marina del Rey, Calif., which is not defending. Account revenue is estimated at $3 million. Media spending on the brand totaled nearly $23 million last year, up slightly from $21 million in 2009, according to Nielsen. Those figures don’t include online spending. Deutsch has handled the business since 2004. Its most recent work touted the restaurant’s menu variety and affordability. 

The review comes nearly a year after CiCi’s hired Nancy Hampton as chief marketing officer. Earlier in her career, Hampton was vp of brand strategy at Romano’s Macaroni Grill. Select Resources International in Santa Monica, Calif., is managing the search process. SRI referred calls to CiCi's, who declined to comment.

Final presentations are slated for late August, and CiCi’s—which has more than 650 locations in 35 states—plans to select an agency by next month.