Online Exclusive: Account Action


Incumbent Agency GSD&M Will Not Participate

By Published on .

CHICAGO ( -- Restaurant operator Brinker International said it is is putting the advertising accounts of its Macaroni Grill, Maggiano’s Little Italy and On the Border chains up for review.
Brinker International has put the ad accounts of three of its restaurant chains in review.

According to a Brinker representative, agencies selected to present concepts are Interpublic Group of Cos.'s Draft, Chicago; Havas' Euro RSCG, Dallas; Omnicom Group's Downtown Partners, Chicago, and Rapp Collins Worldwide, Dallas; and MDC Partners' Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, San Francisco.

A decision is expected in October.

No. 2 in U.S.
The company, which is headquartered in Dallas and also owns Chili's, is the country's No. 2 casual dining restaurant operator (Darden of Orlando, Fla., is No. 1).

Brinker spent $17 million in measured media behind Macaroni Grill, Maggiano's and On the Border -- more than 75% of that on Macaroni Grill -- in 2004, according to figures from TNS Media Intelligence. That’s down 19% from 2003 spending levels.

GSD&M will not defend
GSD&M of Austin, Texas, the incumbent for Macaroni Grill and On the Border, will not participate in the review, executives said. The Omnicom agency, which also handles the Chili's chain, referred questions to the client.

Brinker did not have a comment by deadline.

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Kate MacArthur contributed to this report.

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