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Arby's Creative Shifts to CP&B Without a Review

New CMO Russ Klein Ditches BBDO for Shop He Worked With While at Burger King

By Published on . 2

Arby's is handing its creative account to CP&B from BBDO without a review, Ad Age has learned.

The move comes just a month after the chain named former Burger King Global CMO Russ Klein CMO. During his tenure at Burger King, Mr. Klein shifted the creative account to MDC Partners-owned CP&B in 2004 and worked with the agency until his departure from the burger chain in 2009.

Omnicom Group's BBDO won the Arby's account in December 2010. Omnicom sibling Merkley & Partners had the Arby's account before that . Arby's media agency of record, Interpublic's Initiative , will continue to handle media duties.

"BBDO's work for Arby's was exactly what the brand needed at that time," said Mr. Klein, in a statement. "This transition is about where we are taking the brand and how we are going to get there. Our opportunity is to turn a great brand into a great business. We are building a brand that will be authentic, emotional and enduring, and I know that CP&B can get us there."

Rob Reilly, partner and worldwide chief creative officer at CP&B, said in the statement: "What has always struck me about Russ is his huge passion and strategic acumen. We are thrilled to have the chance to partner with him and the team to restore the fervent love for the Arby's brand."

The sudden move is a gut punch for the Omnicom shop. Coincident with BBDO's work on the Arby's business, the fast feeder posted positive sales after a slump. After the chain appointed Mr. Klein, Arby's Restaurant Group President Hala Moddelmog said in a statement that Arby's had just completed its fifth consecutive quarter of same-store sales growth.

In a separate statement, John Osborn, president-CEO of BBDO, New York, said: "There's not much to say. The numbers speak for themselves. We're proud of our contributions to the Arby's business. We wish the brand continued growth."

Arby's is expected to launch a new campaign and logo, as well as a new menu, in the third quarter of the year around the Olympics, but given the account change, it's believed that CP&B will now be responsible for the work. BBDO created the current tagline "It's good-mood food."

Arby's , now a private company, was part of Wendy's /Arby's Group until private-equity firm Roark Capital took a majority stake in the chain in July. Arby's spent $111.7 million on U.S. measured media in 2011, according to Kantar.

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