Restaurant Chain to Open New Units, Increase Ad spending

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Houlihan's Restaurants has selected Havas' Arnold Worldwide, St. Louis, to handle an integrated rebranding effort, the agency said.

Arnold, which initially bested two other agencies in a promotions pitch, will handle the whole account as well as media services.

Billings were undisclosed, but the privately held Leawood, Kan., marketer has recorded no measured media spending since 1999, when it spent less than $300,000, according TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. That figure is expected to ramp up as Houlihan's opens 20 new locations in the next two years. The restaurant chain has 78 restaurants across the country.

Arnold will develop branding and promotional campaign. A lunchtime promotion titled the "nooner" will initially be implemented in St. Louis and Kansas City.

St. Louis independent Propaganda had been the previous advertising agency, but Jen Gulvik, creative director and brand manager for Houlihan's, said the restaurant needed a larger agency as it expanded.

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