Shells Game: It’s Not Over For WestWayne

By Jim Osterman

ATLANTA–One week after the agency resigned the Shells Seafood Restaurants account it appears the Tampa, Fla., office of WestWayne may not be done with the business.

According to Chip Roehl, marketing vice president for Shells, WestWayne is one of four shops invited to pitch the chain’s media business. Roehl said that portion is in excess of $2 million.

‘I think it might have been too early for us to have had a relationship with a full-service agency,’ he said, referring to his relationship with WestWayne that lasted less than a year. ‘But (the agency) did a phenomenal job of placing our media and they have given me a proposal on that part of the business.’

Roehl added that the other agencies he is considering for Shells’ media business are Bozell and Paradigm Communications (in conjunction with Western International Media), both in Tampa, and a Miami shop called Stiletto. He said no other agencies would get a shot at the media business, and he hopes to have a decision by May 15.

A WestWayne official said the agency was considering whether it would pursue the media portion of Shells’ account.

Concerning the creative portion of the account, Shells is working with Doug Hardee and Voodoo Productions in Tampa. Ironically, Hardee was once the creative director at WestWayne. He has already shot a new campaign for Shells that will go on the air in the middle of next month, and for now the client is inclined to maintain the relationship.

‘Until further notice we’re going to work with Doug,’ said Roehl. ‘We’re excited about the work he’s doing for us. His commercials have a lot of energy to them and he’s done a great job for us.’

WestWayne won the Shells business last June, shortly after it lost Outback Steak House as a client. According to agency president Ben West, at the time of the split the Shells account ‘was not in keeping with our growth strategy.’

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