Papa John’s Delivers to Carat

Agency Picks Up $30 Mil. in Media Buying
CHICAGO–Papa John’s International has awarded its nearly $30 million media buying account to Carat ICG.
Buys were formerly handled by Fricks/Firestone, Atlanta. The pizza chain handed the shop creative and media duties in a 1997 agency consolidation, and it remains lead creative agency.
Carat, Chicago, will begin its network buying for the client in January.
“We felt it was good to work with someone who just specializes in media,” said Ellen Hamilton, director of field marketing at Papa John’s, Louisville, Ky.
Other finalists included Empower MediaMarketing in Cincinnati and Dewitt Media in New York. CIA CPM Media, Chicago, and one undisclosed shop were also initially involved.
The win comes at a good time for Carat, which may be in danger of losing its $100 million Ameritech media business, the office’s largest account. SBC Communications’ takeover of Ameritech won final government approval last week, and several sources have speculated SBC will place the consolidated ad business at one of its lead shops: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, or GSD&M, Austin, Texas.
Declining comment on Ameritech, Carat managing director Susan Rowe did say of the Papa John’s win, “The timing couldn’t have been better.”
Papa John’s spent about $29 million on advertising in 1998 and $16 million through June of 1999, according to Competitive Media Reporting.