Applebee's invites nine firms to PR agency review

KANSAS CITY, MO: Restaurant chain Applebee's is conducting an RFP process to find a PR agency, the brand told PRWeek on Thursday.

KANSAS CITY, MO: Restaurant chain Applebee's is conducting an RFP process to find a PR agency, the brand told PRWeek on Thursday.

The DineEquity brand invited nine firms throughout the US to participate in the review, said Dan Smith, communications manager for Applebee's.

Charlotte, NC-based DFPR, the brand's PR AOR since September 2010, is not involved in the RFP. Its contract with the restaurant chain will expire July 31.

“We hope to have a new agency selected by sometime in August,” Smith said. 

Derek Farley, president of DFPR, said in an emailed statement that it has been “an honor to represent” the brand for the last two years. 

“Their executive, communications, and marketing teams are second to none and their next agency should treat the job as the opportunity of a lifetime, which is exactly what we did,” he added. “We wish Applebee's and their incoming AOR nothing but great success.”

The responsibilities of the new agency are being defined throughout the review, but Smith said a main objective is “certainly to raise brand awareness among consumers.”

In March, Applebee's selected Crispin Porter + Bogusky as its advertising agency of record. McCann Erickson was the brand's advertising AOR since 2007. 

In the first quarter of 2012, DineEquity's profit increased 5.5%, year-over-year, but revenue decreased 18% to $245.6 million. The Applebee's parent company will release Q2 results on July 31.

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