Shoney’s Ups ’98 Budget To $26 Mil. in RFP to Shops

DETROIT-Shoney’s Restaurants is in the early stages of reviewing agencies for its account, now at Bernstein-Rein Advertising in Kansas City, Mo.
The company spent $15 million on advertising in 1996 and more than $7 million through the first six months of 1997, according to Competitive Media Reporting. The request for proposals sent to agencies, however, projected 1998 spending at $26 million, sources said.
Susan Nardizzi, vice president of marketing for the Nashville, Tenn.-based family restaurant chain, said the deadline for responding to the request for proposals was Sept. 17. Nardizzi joined Shoney’s in November 1996, replacing Gregg Kaplan, who hired Bernstein-Rein in May 1995.
Shoney’s is working with consultant Bill Weilbacher of Bismark Corp. in Dennis, Mass., Nardizzi said. Weilbacher, who declined to comment, assisted Shoney’s sister firm, Captain D’s, in an agency search.
The company hopes to conclude the review by the end of November, said Mimi Bliss, Shoney’s communications director.
Bernstein-Rein has been invited to participate in the review, Bliss said. Agency officials did not return calls at press time.
The questionnaire was sent to agencies of varying sizes across the country, including some with category conflicts, according to sources. The client is asking for spec creative, and will partially reimburse agencies for their work.
Finalists in the 1995 review, in addition to B-R, were Austin Kelley Advertising and WestWayne, both of Atlanta, and The William Cook Agency, Jacksonville, Fla. Martin/Williams, Minneapolis, had the account before B-R. Officials with Ogilvy & Mather’s Atlanta office, which held the account for 12 years prior to its departure to Martin/Williams, said they were invited to participate but would decline.
Shoney’s has more than 950 locations in 29 states. -with Jim Osterman