Karwoski & Courage in pole position for Donatos Pizza business

MINNEAPOLIS: McDonald's- owned Donatos Pizza is ramping up its PR efforts nationally in 2001 and is evaluating outside PR needs.

MINNEAPOLIS: McDonald's- owned Donatos Pizza is ramping up its PR efforts nationally in 2001 and is evaluating outside PR needs.

MINNEAPOLIS: McDonald's- owned Donatos Pizza is ramping up its PR efforts nationally in 2001 and is evaluating outside PR needs.

The likely beneficiary of the change in strategy is Karwoski & Courage, which looks in line to pick up a major new PR account next year as a result of the recent ad win by sister agency Martin/Williams Advertising, said Tom Santor, VP communications at Donatos.

The Columbus, Ohio-based 152-restaurant chain this month picked Martin/Williams to handle a dollars 15 million ad program that will include TV, radio, print, sales promotion, media planning and media buying.

Karwoski and Martin/Williams are both owned by Martin/Williams. Santor said: 'It would just be prudent to examine what all their resources are.

But a final decision hasn't been made.'

Donatos now works with the PR division of Columbus ad agency SBC Advertising.

But the chain is growing from a regional into a national player, and 'PR is playing a bigger and bigger role,' Santor said.

Karwoski has been on a new-business roll recently, adding four clients representing dollars 500,000 in PR fees, said Glenn Karwoski, SVP and managing director. The firm is handling regional PR for Sprint PCS, and is handling the PR around a US product launch for British toymaker Best-Lock Construction Toys. Its other new clients are Minnesota-based KB Gear and Wabasha County, MN. The firm had 1999 PR fees of dollars 2.75 million, ranking seventh in Minnesota.

Donatos will likely decide on new PR plans after January 1, Santor said.



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