GMO Corrals Black Angus Restaurants

SAN FRANCISCO – An on-again, off-again review that began in L.A. and moved to S.F. ended last week when Stuart Anderson’s Black Angus and Cattle Company Restaurants awarded the creative portion of its estimated $10 million account to Goldberg Moser O’Neill here.
GMO won the business following a creative shootout that included S.F. shops Citron Haligman Bedecarre and Mandelbaum Mooney Ashley. Stein Robaire Helm/L.A., which had not participated in the final presentations, had also been a contender, as was BBDO/S.F., which dropped out of the race because of conflicting obligations.
The Los Altos, Calif.-based chain, which operates 89 moderately priced steak restaurants in 11 states, launched a formal review in January, several months after firing incumbent J. Walter Thompson/S.F. Marketing vp Meredith Taylor, who assumed her current responsibilities in November, said she couldn’t comment on the reasons for the split with JWT.
Perhaps because of the change in marketing executives following the split, several L.A. agency inquiries were initially entertained and then dismissed.
When the review was relaunched, agencies believed that size would play a critical component in the selection, and some contenders played up their small size. As it turned out, victorious GMO, with billings estimated at more than $80 million, is the largest of the group.
Taylor said the company selected GMO because ‘they’ve done consistently great creative for other clients and I respected their strategic approach. They’re corporate culture is not unlike our own,’ she added. ‘They are founded from a management buyout.’
Western International Media handles buying.
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