AUSTIN KELLY GETS PAPA JOHN'S AD ACCOUNT

Finalist Doe-Anderson to Handle Projects for Pizza Chain Marketer

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CHICAGO (ADAge.com) -- Papa John's International said it awarded the strategic and creative portion of its $40 million to $45 million advertising account to Austin Kelley, Atlanta.

The Interpublic Group of Cos. agency won the account after a six-month review that included finalists independent Schafer Condon Carter, Chicago; Doe-Anderson, Louisville, Ky.; and Havas' Black Rocket Euro RSCG, San Francisco.

Incumbent Fricks/Firestone, Atlanta, did not compete for the business. Doe Anderson and Austin Kelley had done projects for the No. 3 U.S. pizza chain during the review.

As the Louisville, Ky.-based

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chain's new agency of record, Austin Kelley will develop national TV and radio creative, which also will be used in local markets. New creative from the agency will break this fall. Papa John's will continue to use Doe-Anderson for assignments outside the scope of work to be handled by Austin Kelley, a spokesman said.

Aegis Group's Carat will continue to handle national media planning and buying while local media will be handled by the chain's 60 co-ops.

"It's a brand that continues to be well-thought of by customers," said Jay Shields, president-CEO of Austin Kelley. Still, he acknowledged the uphill battle. "It's a neat strategic challenge with good competitors [and] a good product."

Mr. Shields said the agency will need to hire some creative and account staff.

Papa John's has been dogged by sluggish sales and this week reported same-store sales fell 3.1% for July.

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