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Arby's Names Fallon its New Creative Agency

Shop Succeeds MDC's CP&B

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Arby's has named Fallon its new creative agency after a review.

The review, which was overseen by Joanne Davis Consulting, was down to three finalists: Interpublic's Martin Agency; Publicis Groupe's Fallon in Minneapolis; and Omnicom's BBDO, Atlanta.

Fallon will handle TV, radio, print and digital marketing and social media. Media, which is fielded by Interpublic's Initiative, was not affected by the review.

Arby's CMO Rob Lynch
Arby's CMO Rob Lynch

Rob Lynch, Arby's brand president-chief marketing officer, said the chain chose Fallon because of the quality of ideas the shop presented, which Mr. Lynch described as a "brand vision." He added that Arby's has had a handful of campaigns in the last 10 years, and that "we're making an attempt to have a more sustainable brand voice."

The creative account had been at MDC Partners' CP&B since February 2012, when Arby's then-new CMO, Russ Klein moved the account there from BBDO.

The current Arby's review (in which CP&B declined to partcipate) began in October, just a month after Mr. Lynch joined the chain as its brand president-CMO. Mr. Klein left the company in May after some of the chain's franchisees had sent a letter to the company's president, Hala Moddelmog. The letter, according to Nation's Restaurant News, expressed discontent for not being consulted on Mr. Klein's appointment and the subsequent agency change, which they said occurred without them having the chance to interview CP&B or any other potential agency.

Arby's most recent rebranding effort and campaign from CP&B featuring the tagline "Slicing up freshness." The effort included a new logo and messaging touting its food's freshness and to position it more directly against Subway. It replaced the 2011 push by BBDO and the tagline "Good mood food."

Mr. Lynch said that the chain will be moving away from the "Slicing up freshness" campaign, but did not detail what the new campaign would be. He said it is expected to break in mid- to late-summer.

Prior to Joining Arby's, Mr. Lynch was VP-brand marketing at Taco Bell, where he led innovation development and brand marketing. Before Taco Bell, Mr. Lynch spent time in marketing roles at H.J. Heinz, where he led the marketing efforts on Ore-Ida and also established a multicultural marketing function, and Procter & Gamble, where he worked on the Crest toothpaste brand.

For Fallon, the win follows the loss of its General Motors Cadillac account last year. In October, the agency picked up creative for Woodford Reserve, a super-premium bourbon that's part of the Brown-Forman portfolio.

Arby's, owned by equity firm Roark Capital Group, spent about $122.7 million on U.S. measured media in 2012, according to Kantar Media. It spent $112.3 million in 2011.

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