IHOP chooses new ad agency

GLENDALE Calif. IHOP said Wednesday that it has awarded creative ad duties to MDC Partners’ VitroRobertson of San Diego.

The agency replaces Interpublic Group’s McCann Erickson of Los Angeles, which created the family-dining chain’s current “Come Hungry. Leave Happy” campaign. Universal-McCann will continue as IHOP’s agency for national media planning and buying. The chain’s ad spending is estimated at $75 million to $80 million.

IHOP, which has 1,328 domestic and foreign units, put the creative account into review in September. Its decision to choose VitroRobertson comes about two weeks after IHOP completed its acquisition of casual-dining franchisor Applebee’s International Inc. Applebee’s agency of record is McCann Erickson of New York.

Carolyn O’Keefe, IHOP’s senior vice president of marketing, said the chain’s current campaign has played a “significant role” in IHOP’s 19 consecutive quarters of same-store sales growth, and that VitroRobertson’s goal will be to take the campaign to a “new level of success.”