Long John Silver’s Calls Review

Restaurant Chain Initiates National Search for Creative Agency
ATLANTA–Long John Silver’s is goin’ fishin’.
The Lexington, Ky., fast-food fish restaurant is gearing up for a national agency search in January after parting ways with incumbent Doe-Anderson Advertising and Public Relations of Louisville, Ky.
Select Resources International in Los Angeles is the search consultant, said Bruce Hinton, client senior director of public relations.
Hinton, who estimated Long John Silver’s total ad budget at $35 million, said it was a creative-only review. Media will remain split between Media That Works in Cincinnati and Active Media in Atlanta. Hinton would not project the value of the creative account.
He said Doe-Anderson will be invited to defend the account, but an agency representative said the incumbent would decline.
Hinton said the chain’s agency from 1989-96, Temerlin McClain, has been invited to pitch. The Irving, Texas, shop will take over the account from Doe-Anderson in January. It will produce a pair of project assignments that will carry the client through April. In May, the account will transition to the new agency, he said.
Fallon McElligott in Minneapolis will also participate in the review, according to Hinton.
Long John Silver’s was purchased in September by A&W Restaurants, now known as Yorkshire Global Restaurants. The chain has a new chairman, chief operating officer and director of marketing. The latter, Kevin Armstrong, arrived from Subway and is seeking “a long-term marketing and creative relationship with one agency,” said Hinton.
In April, Long John Silver’s announced it was adding to Doe-Anderson’s point-of-sale, local television and outdoor advertising responsibilities by allowing it to share national creative duties with then-incumbent Lowe & Partners/SMS of New York. Doe-Anderson developed the client’s goldfish advertising icons, Gus and Eddie, while Lowe & Partners conceived the “Can’t resist that crunchy stuff” tagline.
Hinton said the challenge for the new agency would be to “remind consumers that we’re a fun place to go, that it’s a good family experience. All the reasons that we are a niche player in the fast-food world. We need to move away from the value pricing and characterize the brand as more of a lunch or dinner [eatery].” –with Angela Dawson and J. Dee Hil