BBDO WINS LONG JOHN SILVER'S $30 MILLION ACCOUNT

Third Yum Brands Assignment for Omnicom Shop

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Long John Silver's named BBDO Worldwide, New York, as its new broadcast agency following a two-month review, the agency said.

The $25 million to $30 million creative account is the third Yum Brands assignment for the Omnicom Group agency, which also handles KFC and Pizza Hut.

The newest addition to the Yum Brands portfolio of restaurant chains was with Publicis Groupe's Fallon Worldwide, Minneapolis.

Yum Brands in May acquired the chain and sibling A&W Restaurants when it completed its buyout of Yorkshire Global Restaurants.

Late review entry
BBDO was a late

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entry to the review, which at one point included Taco Bell agency Interpublic Group of Cos.' Foote, Cone & Belding Worldwide, Chicago, and Interpublic sibling Campbell Ewald, Warren, Mich. While some observers first saw the BBDO addition as a courtesy to the longtime Yum roster agency, others suggested BBDO was a shoo-in from the beginning as the new parent assimilated the restaurant chain.

Independent Cliff Freeman & Partners, New York, also was a contender but was eliminated after the final round of pitches in late May.

While the quick-service seafood chain spent $23.4 million in measured media in 2001, according to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR, management said it expects the budget to increase with unit expansion.

Long John Silver's print agency Creative Alliance, Louisville, Ky., is handling interim advertising, including a TV, radio and print campaign for the chain's mid-July Alaskan Seafood Fest to introduce six new dishes. The independent shop also handles A&W Restaurants and children's marketing for KFC.

Ownership not a factor
"The fact that we are now owned by Yum Brands was not a factor in our decision," said Mike Baker, Long John Silver's vice president of marketing. "BBDO had the best combination of strategic thinking, category insight and TV campaign ideas."

Mr. Baker said the agency will break its first work for the chain Sept. 2 but would not disclose additional details.

$60 million new business
In the last month, BBDO has hooked $60 million in new business from existing clients, including Long John Silver's and Mars' Skittles candy.

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