Popeyes, Love End Relationship

Atlanta-based Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits has begun a search for an agency to handle local marketing and promotions for its eateries in Houston and East Texas.
Incumbent Love Advertising in Houston has opted not to defend. Agency officials declined to elaborate on their decision.
Sources said Houston-area shops have begun receiving questionnaires for the estimated $2 million account. The recipients had not surfaced at press time. Sue Harwell, the Popeyes executive overseeing the review, could not be reached for comment last week.
Love vice president Billie Van Slyke said assignments focused on Popeyes’ 35 franchise-owned outlets in Houston and surrounding markets. There are also 43 company-owned restaurants in the area.
The agency developed local promotions and bought media for creative work developed by Popeyes’ national shop, Van Slyke said. Love also placed Hispanic advertising for the fast-food operator.
Popeyes awarded its national creative account to Hill, Holliday/Altschiller of New York in September 1996. The agency introduced a new campaign in June that continues to use the “Love that chicken from Popeyes” tagline. Advertising, however, repositions the chain from a purveyor of Cajun-style fast food to one offering superior tasting fare in general.
Popeyes awarded its Houston-area business to Love Advertising in early 1997, following an account review that initially attracted 10 agencies. The competition was narrowed to Love and another Houston-based finalist, Fogarty Klein & Partners.
It was not clear last week if the client had established a timetable for the current regional review.
Popeyes’ parent company, AFC Enterprises of Atlanta, also operates Churchs restaurants. According to Hoovers Online, AFC owns or franchises 2,400 Popeyes and Churchs restaurants as well as 165 Chesapeake Bagel Bakery locations.