Online Exclusive: Account Action


Doner Retains Media Buying

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CHICAGO ( -- Carrabba’s Italian Grills has named Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, New York, as its creative agency of record, following a review.
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The second-largest chain in the Outback Steakhouse portfolio selected the Kirshenbaum over media agency Doner of Southfield, Mich. Kirshenbaum and its Dotglu online and Lime public relations and promotion units will handle various portions of the account.

Independent creative David Hale
The Italian-themed chain, which is fronted by its founders Johnny Carrabba and Damian Mandola, had been working with Manhattan-based independent creative gun David Hale for the past seven years.

“He did an outstanding job with Carrabbas and we credit him with our growth and success,” said Andi Jacobs, vice president of marketing and advertising for the 178-unit chain. “Given the growth plans and the size of the company, I recognized we needed a full-service agency. I was looking for an agency that could provide the strategic support as well as creative.”

Doner will continue as the chain's media agency, she said.

Marketing strategy not disclosed
Ms. Jacobs wouldn’t disclose her budget or marketing strategy going forward, citing competitive reasons. However, executives close to the marketer said the chain would move away from using Messrs. Carrabba and Mandola in advertising.

“We’re looking at what role they play and how the campaign might evolve,” said Ms. Jacobs, adding that nothing has been decided.

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