GSD&M Defends Chili’s Online Account

DALLAS GSD&M and Avenue A/Razorfish are finalists in restaurant chain Chili’s review of its $2 million online advertising account, sources said.

Chili’s, a unit of Dallas-based Brinker International, expects to name a winner as early as next week, sources said.

The review began last year with five contenders, including incumbent GSD&M.

Austin, Texas-based GSD&M, an Omnicom Group shop, handles Chili’s general market advertising account, valued at $110 million in 2004 and $98 million through September 2005, per TNS Media Intelligence.

Chili’s online advertising spend of $200,000 in 2004 grew to $2 million through November 2005, according to TNS. This is the first time Chili’s has held a separate review for its online advertising, a company spokeswoman said.

GSD&M this month broke a campaign for Chili’s that teams the chain with another agency client, Southwest Airlines. The campaign, whose value was not disclosed, includes an online component and a sweepstakes for trips via Southwest Vacations.