Weber Shandwick Acquires Blimpie’s PR Duties

ATLANTA Blimpie has given its public relations account to Weber Shandwick here without a review, the company said.

The Interpublic Group agency replaces Madison Envoy, an independent shop in Boca Raton, Fla., that held the account for the past 18 months.

Atlanta-based Blimpie is in the process of rebranding itself for the first time in its 40-year history. The restaurant franchiser plans to “substantially” increase its annual $12 million ad budget to change the company’s image from a “traditional neighborhood sub shop” to a “lively, contemporary deli,” said Mark Mears, the company’s chief marketing officer.

“It’s not a brand revolution. It’s a brand evolution,” Mears said.

In October, the restaurant franchiser, without a review, hired independent Grant Jacoby in Chicago to replace independent Print Pro in Atlanta for creative work on the company’s advertising. Blimpie, which operates more than 1,500 locations, does mostly print and broadcast advertising.

Weber Shandwick will provide media relations, internal communications and community relations to support the company’s increased marketing efforts. The Atlanta shop previously had done project work for the company.

Blimpie plans to introduce a new logo and menu later this year, Mears said.