WPP's Mindshare has won the TGI Friday's media buying and planning business.
The selection is a move to unbundle the media account from the creative, as both were handled by Dallas-based agency The Richards Group. Executives familiar with the matter said that the review should not affect the shop's creative business.
Mindshare referred calls to the client. The marketer and incumbent did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The move is the first major agency shakeup since Burger King vet Brian Gies joined the company in February as its new CMO.
It also marks the third win for the WPP agency giant this month alone, following Bacardi USA and Dyson.
In an internal memo celebrating recent new business wins, Mindshare CEO Antony Young wrote to staff: "In addition to Bacardi USA, so far we have picked up Lionsgate Studios, Dignity Health out of LA, Rooms to Go from Atlanta; and we were also recently appointed to handle the TGI Friday's media account. Special mention to Shari Cohen who lead that pitch, with Ed Hughes, Robbie Rakowitz and Seth Spielvogel."
TGI Friday's, owned by privately held hospitality company Carlson, which also owns Radisson, is the 29th-largest restaurant in the U.S., according to Technomic. The chain posted $1.7 billion in 2011 U.S. system-wide sales, down 1.5% from the prior year. It's the fourth-largest casual-dining chain in the U.S., according to Technomic, after category leader Applebee's, Chili's and Buffalo Wild Wings. The chain spent about $36.4 million on U.S. measured media from January through December 2012. It spent $36.6 million in 2011.