Richards Group Lands TGI Friday’s; Is CiCi’s Next?

Neither restaurant sees a conflict


The Richards Group has won a restaurant account—but is hungry for at least one more.

TGI Friday’s has hired the Dallas-based agency to handle its creative and media business, just five months after tapping creative shop Wong, Doody, Crandall, Wiener in Culver City, Calif. (Wong, Doody was an “interim agency” for “tactical” work, a restaurant representative explained.) The media assignment comes out of Pohmedia (planning) and Horizon Media (buying).

Meanwhile, Richards remains a finalist in the creative and media review for CiCi’s Pizza. Final presentations in the CiCi’s contest are scheduled for next week.

There does not appear to be a conflict. TGI Friday’s has a bar and an extensive menu with entrees that cost up to $14 or so, while CiCi's has no bar and offers mainly pizza in the form of a $4.99 buffet. What’s more, the core consumer target of CiCi’s differs from that of TGI Friday’s. Indeed, in its initial request for proposals, CiCi’s defined conflicts only as other pizza chains. Likewise, a TGI Friday’s representative said, “We do not see CiCi’s as a conflict.”

TGI Friday’s, which operates in 47 states (as well as abroad), spends more than $50 million in media annually, compared to about $20 million for CiCi’s, which is in 35 states. 

The other contenders in the CiCi’s review are MARC USA in Chicago, Barkley in Kansas City, Mo., and Publicis in Plano, Texas. Select Resources International in Santa Monica is managing that search.

The winner will succeed Deutsch/LA in Marina del Rey, Calif., which is not defending. Deutsch has handled the business since 2004.


Publish date: August 23, 2011 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT