Krueger Picks Up $7 Mil. El Pollo Loco

LOS ANGELES Fast-food chicken chain El Pollo Loco has tapped Krueger to handle its $7 million advertising account, the client said.

WPP’s Young & Rubicam in Irvine, Calif., has handled the account since February 2003. The shop resigned the business to allocate agency resources to new assignments, but will work with El Pollo Loco over the next few months to transition the account, the client said. Agency representatives could not immediately be reached.

Krueger, an independent shop in Torrance, Calif., was a finalist last year in El Pollo Loco’s review, along with Y&R and Grey Global Group’s Grey in Los Angeles. Effective Marketing Strategies in Surprise, Ariz., led that search. There was no review this time around, a client representative confirmed.

“Krueger provides El Pollo Loco an arsenal of strategic muscle and creative genius through a gifted team of advertising professionals you don’t often find under one roof,” said Karen Eadon, chief marketing officer of El Pollo Loco, in a statement. “Their collaborative approach and passion for our brand, along with their keen insight into our business, make them ideally suited for this opportunity to generate continued momentum for our business.”

Krueger will handle strategic marketing and communications assignments for El Pollo Loco’s general-market audience. The shop will launch its first campaign for the Irvine-based client in May.

Media Marketing Solutions in New York will continue to handle general-market media assignments. Cruz/kravetz:Ideas in Los Angeles remains El Pollo Loco’s Hispanic agency.

El Pollo Loco last year embarked on a brand transformation that included an expanded menu, new advertising and a redesigned prototype restaurant. Ads from Y&R, tagged “Give in to the Pollo,” included TV and radio spots inspired by Pavlov’s principles of conditioned response.

El Pollo Loco, which has 315 locations in California, Arizona, Nevada and Texas, recently signed an agreement to establish at least 10 restaurants in Illinois.