Outback Puts PR Account in Play

Casual Dining Chain Says Creative Not in Review

By Published on .

SAN FRANCISCO (Adage.com) -- As casual-dining restaurants are starting to feel the pinch from the housing-credit crunch, Outback Steakhouse has placed its public relations account into review.
The review also will include sibling Carrabba's Italian Grill chain.
The review also will include sibling Carrabba's Italian Grill chain.

Dan Orsborn, senior partner and head of public relations practice at search consultant Select Resources International, Santa Monica, Calif., said the review also will include parent OSI Restaurant Partners' Carrabba's Italian Grill chain.

Media review
This spring a private investor group led by Bain Capital Partners as majority owner completed a $3.5 billion acquisition of OSI. About the same time, the media portion of Outback's $87 million account went up for grabs. Finalists in that review are Aegis Group's Carat and WPP Group's MindShare, along with Horizon Media. Incumbents were independent Doner, Southfield, Mich., and Havas' MPG.

Publicis Groupe's Kaplan Thaler Group, New York, is the incumbent for creative. An Outback spokeswoman said the creative portion of the account is not in review. A spokeswoman for the agency said the client was "very, very happy" with the current "Let's Go Outback" work.

Outback spent $87 million in measured media in 2006, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

OSI Restaurant Partners, the nation's No. 3 operator of casual-dining spots, has more than 1,400 locations in the U.S. and 20 other nations of which more than 1,200 are company-owned. Outback has 950 Australian-themed restaurants. Carrabba's Italian Grill has 230 locations.

Other OSI chains include Bonefish Grill and Fleming's Prime Steakhouse.
Most Popular