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Red Lobster picks new ad agency

Red Lobster, a division of Darden Restaurants Inc., has selected Grey New York as its new advertising agency.

Grey already oversees advertising for Darden’s Olive Garden and Longhorn Steakhouse brands.

Red Lobster, the casual-dining operator based in Orlando, Fla., estimated that $115 million in major-media advertising billings had been handled since 2004 by The Richards Group of Dallas, which did not seek to renew the account.

“Grey demonstrated superb creativity, strategic thinking, integrated capabilities and a deep understanding of the casual-dining marketplace,” said Salli Setta, Red Lobster’s executive vice president of marketing.

Red Lobster has about 700 units in the United States and Canada with sales of $2.5 billion a year.

Jim Heekin, chairman and chief of Grey Group, a division of WPP, said, “We are deeply proud of our partnership with Darden and the tremendous vote of confidence Red Lobster has given Grey by entrusting us with this premier brand.”

Media buying remains with Publicis Groupe’s Zenith Media of New York.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected].


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