• Papa John's drops national ad firm after six months

    Tags: Marketing

CHICAGO -- Papa John's International has awarded creative duties on its $45 million advertising account to Zimmerman Partners Advertising.

According to an AdAge report, the chain split with Interpublic Group of Companies' Austin Kelly, Atlanta, after just six months. Omnicom Group-owned Zimmerman, like Austin Kelly before it, had been a field agency for Papa John's South Florida franchise group, Miami Pizza.

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Zimmerman produced Papa John's current Grilled Chicken Alfredo Pizza promotion, featuring founder John Schnatter.

The AdAge report said the relationship between Austin Kelly and Papa John's never showed much promise.

"We dated for a while and it appeared pretty obvious to both parties that there was not a match made in heaven," said Jim Spruell, executive vice president and chief creative officer at Austin Kelly. "Culturally we were from two different worlds."

In a prepared statement, Mary Ann Palmer, Papa John's senior vice president and chief resource officer, said, "We're pleased with the expertise Zimmerman brings to the Papa John's advertising table."

Papa John's hasn't had a chief marketing officer since the 2001 departure of Phil Sysnowski.

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