Shops to Hail Little Caesars

Little Caesars is planning a review of its $40 million account and may combine it with business for the two sports teams also owned by Mike Ilitch, said Susan Sherbow, a company representative.
The chain has been studying the possibility of merging the Little Caesars business with accounts for the Ilitch-owned Detroit Tigers and Detroit Red Wings, Sherbow said.
FCB Worldwide quit the business last week citing a conflict with the Taco Bell account at FCB’s Costa Mesa, Calif., office. Sources, however, said the two-year relationship had been troubled for several months, with the Southfield, Mich., agency repeatedly finding itself at budgetary and philosophical odds with the client.
The Detroit-based pizza retailer has not begun a search and has yet to air a new campaign from FCB, said Sherbow.
Whether the search will be national in scope and what the agency criteria will be have not been determined, Sherbow said.
She called the split with FCB a “mutual agreement” and also pointed to the Taco Bell business as a conflict. An FCB representative acknowledged, though, that “creative and strategic differences have limited this partnership.”
Earlier this year, FCB lost two major players on the account: Rob Elliott, who was a Little Caesars executive before joining the shop as an account executive for the pizza chain, went to Quizno’s Submarines; and Mark Simon, who oversaw non-DaimlerChrysler creative, joined Campbell-Ewald Advertising.
At the time, the company and agency downplayed the role of those departures on the Little Caesars account, but several agency sources said the business had been difficult.
FCB won the account in 1998, besting Grey Advertising, New York, and the team of McCann-Erickson and Kolon, Bittker & Desmond, both in Troy, Mich. Previous incumbent Cliff Freeman and Partners, New York, which won numerous creative awards on the business, chose not to defend.