Ad Shop Created Controversial 'Spongmonkeys' Campaign

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Sandwich chain Quizno's has split with its advertising agency, the Martin Agency, which created the controversial "Spongmonkeys" ad campaign.

Quizno's awarded the account to the

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Interpublic Group of Cos. agency in October 2003 following a hotly contested review. Quizno's spent $38.3 million in measured media in 2003 and $32.9 million through August of this year, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

Quizno's, makers of toasted sandwiches, pulled Martin's TV spot that featured strange, animated rodents, dubbed Spongmonkeys, screeching "We love the Subs!" in a catchy but creepy jingle that was popular with young consumers but turned off its core adult customer.

"We are indeed mutually parting ways with the Martin Agency due to creative differences," Scott Lippitt, senior vice president of marketing for the Denver-based chain, told AdAge.com. "We really think a lot of the Martin Agency and their people and we've received a lot of great work from them this past year. We just couldn't reach a consensus on a creative direction and have decided to part ways." Mr. Lippitt credited the agency for the last "three very positive quarters."

A Martin Agency spokesman confirmed the move as mutual.

Mr. Lippitt said the marketer is evaluating other options but stopped short of calling the process a review. Executives close to the marketer said Quizno's already has homed in on another agency for work, which Mr. Lippitt denied. "We have not yet made a formal decision to hire a new agency," he said, and wouldn't identify other agencies considered.

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