FLAGSTAR'S CARROWS CHAIN SET TO ADD KOVEL AGENCY: $8 MIL WIN WILL EXTEND STREAK

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Flagstar Corp.'s Carrows restaurant chain is close to awarding its $8 million ad account to Kovel Kresser & Partners, Santa Monica, Calif., following a review that included four West Coast agencies.

Carrows, with 157 family-style restaurants in California, Arizona and Texas, plans a major facelift as well as a branding effort to draw younger customers, said an executive familiar with the company.

Flagstar, which is ready to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, also owns and operates Coco's, Denny's, El Pollo Loco and Quincy's Family Steak House, and is the largest franchisee of Hardee's.

Other contenders in the Carrows pitch included Asher/Gould and Weller, O'Sullivan, Zuckerman & Lightcap, both Los Angeles, and Colby Effler & Partners, Santa Monica. Select Resources International, West Hollywood, Calif., was the consultant. Cohen/Johnson, Los Angeles, previously handled.

4TH WIN IN TWO MONTHS

The win will be the fourth in two months for Kovel. In October, it won Energy Pacific, a joint venture of Pacific Enterprises and Enova that will market electricity nationwide, as well as energy-related products; spending is estimated at $30 million-plus.

Earlier this month, the agency won U.S. Care, a long-term disability insurer planning to enter the consumer market with a budget estimated at $10 million-plus, as well as Baja Resorts, an estimated $1 million account for the group of Mexican resorts.

NAME CHANGE POSSIBLE

Kovel, which is considering a name change to reflect the reduced involvement of Bob Kresser, next month will move into new offices, a former supermarket designed as a "symbiotic" work space.

The building, on the canals of Venice, Calif., will have private office spaces as well as communal areas for working in groups.

Other amenities will include cement floors to accommodate roller bladers and

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