SW, SE on Applebee’s Menu

Richards, Temerlin, McKinney in Review
DALLAS-Applebee’s International in Overland Park, Kan., has named seven contenders for the advertising account of its Neighborhood Grill and Bar restaurants.
Those in the hunt include Texas agencies The Richards Group in Dallas and Temerlin McClain in Irving. Also pitching are Foote, Cone & Belding, Chicago; McKinney & Silver, Raleigh, N.C.; Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG and Saatchi & Saatchi, both in New York, plus the incumbent, Wyse Advertising, Cleveland.
The selection process will be completed in July, a company news release stated. Billings were undisclosed, but total annual advertising spending is $36 million, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
The company said the review was prompted by the recent unveiling of a new business strategy to increase the focus on food and menu, advertising and overall positioning of the restaurant brand.
“What we seek from our advertising agency are recommendations on brand positioning and assistance in building campaigns that drive same store sales and build overall market share,” said Applebee’s senior vice president of marketing, Karen Eadon, in a statement.
Eadon joined the company in March following the arrivals of other new key officials in Applebee’s executive suites: president Julia Stewart and senior vice president of research and development John Koch.
Applebee’s has approximately 1,100 corporate-owned and franchisee-owned restaurants in 48 states and seven countries.
-with staff report