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Subway reviews ad agency

Chain, which has new marketing leadership, is reviewing its media agencies

Subway said on Monday that it has started North America agency review, three months after hiring a new head of marketing in North America.

The Milford, Conn.-based sandwich chain is focused on a “brand transformation” as it looks to bolster sagging domestic sales.

The company said it would approach its current agencies, MediaCom, MMB and Carat. But it also said it would look at other agencies.

“We are evaluating all options, including bringing creative and media together, to drive efficiency and effectiveness across channels in a changing landscape,” the company said in an email announcement. “We are looking for an optimal agency ecosystem where we can unlock the value across all media and marketing activities to drive greater business results for our franchisees.”

In April, the company hired Karlin Linhardt its senior vice president of marketing, North America. “The brand has new marketing leadership in place in North America, and the team is focused on brand transformation, new digital initiatives and innovation,” the company said.

It hopes to have a new agency in place by early next year.

Subway’s sales have struggled in recent years amid consumer spending shifts and the 2015 arrest of its longtime spokesman, Jared Fogle. The company has since worked to regain its marketing footing.

Subway is the third largest U.S. restaurant chain, according to the NRN Top 100, but its system sales declined by $200 million last year, to $11.3 billion, behind No. 1 McDonald’s Corp. and No. 2 Starbucks Corp. 

The company has worked with its existing agencies for some time, including 17 years with MediaCom, 14 years with MMB and 10 years with Carat.

Contact Jonathan Maze at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter at @jonathanmaze

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