BBDO Tapped to Handle Creative for Arby's

Win Comes One Year After Pizza Hut Loss

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NEW YORK ( -- Fast feeder Arby's has awarded its nearly $100 million national advertising account to Omnicom's BBDO Worldwide after a review. The shop replaces sister agency Merkley & Partners, which the chain split with in August.

The agency bested WPP's Y&R, independent Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners and Havas' Euro RSCG Worldwide, which had exited the review early on, according to executives familiar with the matter. Merkley did not participate in the review. Before Merkley, Arby's spent 17 years with Doner Advertising.

The win comes nearly exactly one year after BBDO lost its longtime Yum Brands' Pizza Hut account, which went to Interpublic Group of Cos.' Martin Agency. BBDO's wins this year include Orbitz, Johnson & Johnson's Baby Business, among others.

With declining same-store sales, BBDO faces a challenge in helping Arby's , owned by Wendy's /Arby's Group, stage a turnaround. Arby's same-store sales for the third quarter 2010 fell 5.9%.

"The selection of BBDO New York is an important step in our turnaround plan," said Arby's president Hala Moddelmog in a statement. "They demonstrated a clear understanding of the Arby's brand, our positioning and our target customers. Their creative work brings to life our positioning, 'Exciting tastes you can feel good about...every day' in ways that will resonate with consumers. We are very excited about the talent that they bring to making Arby's a relevant and contemporary brand."

Arby's indicated it will introduce a new marketing campaign during the first quarter of 2011. The fast feeder spent $100 million on measured media in 2009, according to Kantar Media.

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