RESTAURANT CHAIN T.G.I. FRIDAY'S SWITCHES AGENCIES

Shifts $44 Million Account From McCann to IPG Sibling Deutsch

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Restaurant chain T.G.I. Friday's has switched one Interpublic Group of Cos. advertising agency for another, moving its business from McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York, to Deutsch, Los Angeles, according to executives familiar with talks.

Dallas-based T.G.I. Friday's spent

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$44.8 million in measured media in 2002, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

No pitch
Deutsch was selected without a pitch and will execute creative, media planning and buying and integrated national communications, including digital and direct work. A spokeswoman for the agency declined comment.

It is unclear why McCann-Erickson lost the account, which it has held for 21 months. A spokeswoman for the casual-dining chain couldn't comment on the selection of agency.

A finalist in 2001
McCann-Erickson had originally beaten out Deutsch and Omnicom Group's TBWA/Chiat/Day during a pitch for the business at the end of 2001. A corporate press release at the time read, "McCann-Erickson was selected based on its strategic planning capability."

The move follows the promotion in August 2003 of Mike Archer to executive vice president and chief operating officer. Mr. Archer's responsibilities include marketing.

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