IHOP to Name VitroRobertson for Ad Account

Spending Expected to Reach $75 Million

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SAN FRANCISCO (AdAge.com) -- Restaurant chain IHOP is poised to name VitroRobertson, San Diego, as agency for its advertising account, executives familiar with the situation said.
IHOP is expected to increase ad spending next year.
IHOP is expected to increase ad spending next year.

IHOP spent $59 million in measured media last year, according to TNS Media Intelligence. However, the pancake chain is expected to spend as much as $75 million, according to one executive familiar with the review.

Review finalists
Other finalists in the review were the incumbent, Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann Erickson, Los Angeles, and Tactic, Santa Monica, Calif. Ark Advisors, Los Angeles, was the consultant.

Agencies and the consultant either did not return calls or declined comment. Patrick Lenow, an IHOP spokesman, declined comment pending an announcement later this morning.

The account went into review this fall after McCann earlier this year combined its Detroit and Los Angeles offices and creative director Richard Mahan left the agency. Mr. Mahan subsequently formed Tactic.

McCann developed IHOP's current tagline, "Come hungry. Leave happy." Much of the chain's advertising had been centered on limited-time offers of specific kinds of pancakes. Earlier in the review, Mr. Lenow had said a search was under way because "we wanted to see if it's time for our efforts to evolve."

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Contributing: Ryan McConnell
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