Restaurant Chain Selects St. John & Partners

ATLANTA Smoothie King has selected St. John & Partners to provide the company’s advertising after a review, the client said.

The incumbent on the account, independent Kolar Advertising in Austin, Texas, did not defend.

“We mutually decided it was not a good marriage,” said Kenny Tuohy, national marketing manager at Smoothie King. Kolar could not immediately be reached for comment.

St. John had come up short in a review for the business won by Kolar two years ago.

“We were looking for unique, creative ideas,” Tuohy said. “St. John & Partners impressed us on all fronts.”

Most of the New Orleans-based franchiser’s national advertising is direct mail and in-store displays, Tuohy said.

Estimated billings are in the $1 million range.

St. John will help the company open 80 new stores this year. Currently, the company has more than 400 stores in 34 states. All but one are owned and operated by franchisees.

The first work launches in October and will promote gift card sales at the stores, Tuohy said.

“Smoothie King is a leader in the category so we begin from a strong base,” said Jeff McCurry, managing partner of the independent Jacksonville, Fla., shop. “But, inside the Smoothie King brand, we see the DNA of a brand with great potential to connect with consumers in ways that will fuel even greater growth.”

Other contenders in the review were not disclosed.