ATLANTA: Inspire Brands has picked MSL as its PR AOR following a competitive review.
Inspire initiated its PR agency review, led by Select Resources International, in August 2021. MSL was selected this week and the two will begin working together soon.
MSL will lead the planning and execution of fully integrated communications spanning all brands and corporate communications. Inspire Brands is the parent of restaurants including Arby’s, Baskin-Robbins, Buffalo Wild Wings, Dunkin’, Jimmy John’s, Rusty Taco and Sonic Drive-In.
Working closely with Inspire Brands’ communications and marketing leadership teams, MSL will leverage its capabilities across strategy, digital, earned media, research, data and creative to heighten brand awareness, accelerate integration and drive creative ideation for Inspire and its family of brands.
“On the corporate level, MSL will be engaged to help tell the Inspire story,” said Chris Fuller, CCO for Inspire Brands. “As a company that’s only 3 years old, there are still a lot of people unfamiliar with who we are and how we got to be who we are so quickly.”
Inspire Brands was formed when Arby's Restaurant Group merged with Buffalo Wild Wings in February 2018. Buffalo Wild Wings also owned the Rusty Taco chain.
“On the brand level, it varies by brand, whether it’s a product, marketing initiative or down to development,” said Fuller. “MSL will be entrenched with the brands to help bring those programs to life.”
This marks the first time Inspire is consolidating to one agency across all brands and corporate. Currently, different agencies represent each brand: BCW (Sonic), Edelman (Arby’s), RF|Binder (Dunkin’), Zeno Group (Buffalo Wild Wings) and 160over90 (Jimmy John’s).
“There is a transition and wind down period but the plan is that all work will move over to MSL,” said Fuller. “Some local PR agencies will still be working with Dunkin’.”
He added that Inspired Brands values the relationships it’s had with the incumbent agencies.
“We appreciate all the work and everything they have done to put our brands on the map over the last several years,” Fuller explained.
Diana Littman, MSL U.S. CEO, noted that a team of 40 staffers at her firm will be supporting Inspire Brands, mainly out of Atlanta and New York. The account will be overseen by MSL chief client officer Lisa Talbot, and SVP Pattie Hallock will take an account leadership role.
“One of the key components of our model is the ability to scale and operate from the center and MSL really got that. We appreciated that they were going to come in and really understand each brand individually but also bring us the power of scale that their entire network has,” said Fuller.
Budget information was not disclosed.
In February, Inspire Brands named Publicis Groupe as its media AOR. Publicis agencies Zenith and Digitas are leading a newly created unit called Inspired Media Engine to oversee the account.
Dunkin’ Brands Group was acquired by Inspire Brands for $11.3 billion in December.
Inspire Brands’ portfolio includes nearly 32,000 restaurants across more than 60 countries. The company was founded in 2018 and is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Inspire is majority-owned by affiliates of Roark Capital.