Pizza Hut Taps MRY as Digital Agency

Pizza Hut Spent $247.4 million on Measured Media in 2013

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Pizza Hut's recently reformulated pizza
Pizza Hut's recently reformulated pizza

Pizza Hut has added Publicis Groupe's MRY to its agency roster following a pitch, according to people familiar with the matter.

MRY will support social media strategy, industry executives told Ad Age.

In June 2011, Pizza Hut awarded its digital marketing and social media business to IPG's Martin and its e-commerce business to Huge. It had already been working with Martin for a couple of years. But last September it moved its creative business to Dentsu's McGarryBowen from Martin. Huge and Pizza Hut parted ways months ago, according to people familiar with the matter.

Omnicom's TracyLocke, which has worked with Pizza Hut for over 15 years and currently supports digital strategy and design, will keep working with the brand. "We continue to be a strong partner," said a TracyLocke executive. "We're one of the longest lasting partners at Pizza Hut."

Publicis Groupe's Optimedia handles media.

Pizza Hut and Huge declined to comment.

MRY has gained momentum since its merger with Publicis' LBi operation in North America last year. It recently won the digital StubHub business and last year added Adobe, Jagermeister, and J&J's Tylenol brand.

Pizza Hut spent $247.4 million on measured media in 2013, according to Kantar Media. The quick-serve restaurant giant in 2012 was the third largest spender of the Yum brands, including Taco Bell and KFC, according to the Ad Age DataCenter. In 2012, the company spent $239.2 million on measured media and saw a sales bump of 4.2% compared to the previous year.

Pizza Hut in January named one of its senior marketing execs, Carrie Walsh, its U.S. chief marketing officer. She succeeded Kurt Kane, who went on to be Pizza Hut's global chief marketing and food innovation officer.

The company recently designed an interactive touchscreen table that let customers design and order their own pies as well as play games. The concept table was devised by Austin-based designers Chaotic Moon Studios.

Contributing: Maureen Morrison

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