RESTAURANT CHAIN FAZOLI'S BEGINS REVIEW

Incumbent Meridian to Defend $7 Million Creative Account

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Fazoli's Restaurants has issued requests for proposals for its $7 million creative advertising account, according to executives close to the marketer.

The incumbent agency on the account, Meridian Communications, based Lexington, Ky., said it would defend its duties. Meridian's Right Place Media handles media planning and buying.

Fazoli's didn't return calls.

New chief marketing officer
In September, Fazoli's tapped Greg Lippert for the newly created post of chief marketing officer. He had been senior vice president of marketing and research and development at Mazzio's Corp.

Fazoli's is a Lexington, Ky.-based operator and franchisor of 395 fast-casual Italian restaurants.

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.