RESTAURANT CHAIN FAZOLI'S TO LOOK AT 8 AGENCIES

Undisclosed List to Be Trimmed to 4 Within 10 Days

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Fazoli's Restaurants has set a shortlist of eight undisclosed agencies to vie for its estimated $18 million advertising account.

Greg Lippert, chief marketing officer for

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the fast-casual Italian dining chain, said incumbent Meridian Communications, based Lexington, Ky., would participate in the review.

'A course of business'
He described the review as "a course of business" as the chain works to leverage its claim as the "only true Italian fast-casual," Mr. Lippert said.

Meridian's Right Place Media handles media planning and buying.

Mr. Lippert, who joined the Lexington, Ky.-based chain in September, from senior vice president of marketing and research and development at Mazzio's Corp, plans to trim contenders to four within 10 days. Finalists will make presentations in late December, for a decision in mid-January.

Fazoli's in 2002 signed a joint venture deal with McDonald's Corp. to develop 20 to 30 new restaurants in three U.S. markets with a three-year option to buy Fazoli's.

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