Universal McCann Gains $9 Mil. Media Victory

DALLAS Carrols Corp. has selected Interpublic Group’s Universal McCann to handle consolidated media chores for the two chains in its Hispanic restaurant division, Taco Cabana and Pollo Tropical, the client said. Combined billings are estimated at $9 million.

The Atlanta media service won the buying and planning duties following a review that included undisclosed contenders. Neither Media Rare Co. in Pflugerville, Texas, which handled media for Taco Cabana, nor its creative incumbent, WestWayne in Atlanta, participated, according to Brian Maysent, senior vice president of marketing for the client’s Hispanic restaurant division. Likewise, Miami-based Beber Silverstein Advertising, which handled media and creative for Pollo Tropical, was not involved.

Maysent said the Syracuse, N.Y.-based company chose Universal McCann because “they have considerable amounts of clout in all the markets we operate in and they have strategic planning tools that will greatly enhance our ability to understand our consumer and target better.”

Independent WestWayne won creative duties on the estimated $8 million account of Taco Cabana following a review in July. Previously, the business was handled by independent McGarrah/Jessee in Austin, Texas, which resigned the account in May. WestWayne’s first promotional spot for the client breaks Monday in most of the chain’s markets.

Dallas-based consultant Peter Mitchell of Mitchell & McCue managed both reviews.

Maysent said the company is “reviewing our options” about the creative portion of Pollo Tropical’s account but declined to say whether the client has begun a formal review.