L&H Adds Papa John’s in Texas

Utilizing its quick-serve restaurant experience, Levenson & Hill last week picked up work for three Texas co-ops of fast-rising Papa John’s pizza franchises.
Levenson & Hill will be handling media and promotional duties for stores in Dallas, San Antonio and Austin, Texas, according to agency chairman Bill Hill. Additional assignments could also be doled out in future Papa John’s markets as the Louisville, Ky.-based franchise operation expands westward.
“These are three of their Western-most markets” working within co-ops, said Hill. As West Texas and other regions begin to fill up with more company and franchisee-owned Papa John’s, Levenson will have the opportunity to expand its services there, according to Hill.
“What they’ve indicated is their faith is in our hands,” he said.
Annual billings were undetermined last week. Ellen Hamilton, Papa John’s senior regional marketing manager, said media expenditures in the three Texas markets are currently less than the $1-2 million spent in the client’s mature markets in the East and Southeast. The three Texas co-ops consist of 75 locations.
Hamilton said Levenson & Hill won out with its extensive quick-serve restaurant experience. The agency also handles advertising for Atlanta-based Churchs Chicken and casual dining Tex-Mex eatery chain El Chico’s in Dallas.
Papa John’s has not ruled out future creative work for Levenson & Hill, which for now will pick up the advertising from Fricks/Firestone in Atlanta. That agency won the $5-10 million account in June from The Richards Group in Dallas after producing commercials showcasing former Pizza Hut chief executive Frank Carney, now a Papa John’s franchisee.
Papa John’s has built itself into the No. 4 pizza franchisor in the country, with a 35 percent sales jump in 1996. The company expanded to 1,160 stores last year.