Papa John's has put its advertising account into review.
The account is currently at ZGroup, a unit of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.-based Zimmerman. The review, which will focus on creative only, was initiated following several months of evaluation of the brand's advertising needs, according to a press release. Zimmerman has declined to participate in the review. NJS Consulting will handle the review process.
A spokeswoman for ZGroup said "the numbers speak for themselves. We are incredibly proud of our relationship with Papa John's and wish them the best."
"As the recognized industry leader in customer happiness and the leader in digital ordering, Papa John's has built an incredible amount of momentum over the past few years," said John Schnatter, Papa John's founder, chairman and CEO. "We feel the timing is right to seek an agency partner that can capitalize on that momentum and help advance our brand to the next level through fresh thinking, brand messaging and more innovative, integrated marketing."
The move comes a month after the company named former Arby's marketing exec Bob Kraut its senior VP-CMO. Mr. Kraut replaced Andrew Varga, who left Papa John's in March to become president at Zimmerman. Mr. Kraut said that the agency "has been an important partner and member of the Papa John's marketing team for many years. We thank them for their contribution and loyalty to the Papa John's brand and believe they will continue to serve us well in their media and co-op buying role."
Papa John's is the No. 3 pizza chain in the U.S. by systemwide sales, according to Technomic, following category leader Pizza Hut and Domino's. It has 7.3% market share, with $2.4 billion in U.S. sales in 2012. Pizza Hut has 17.1% market share and Domino's has a 10.5% share.
Papa John's spent about $119 million on U.S. measured media in 2012, up 4.8% from $113 million, according to Ad Age DataCenter analysis of Kantar Media data. Pizza Hut spent $239 million in 2012, while Domino's spent $197.2 million.