DALLAS -- The search is on for advertising help at Pizza Hut.
First reported in mid-December in the online editions of Advertising Age and Adweek, news of the search likely has some in the advertising industry-which has struggled throughout 2001-licking their chops at the prospect of gaining a slice of business from such a large player. According to CMR, a New York firm which tracks ad spending, the pizza industry leader spent $151 million on ads in 2000.
Since 1987, Pizza Hut has used BBDO New York as its prime agency, but according to company spokesperson, Patty Sullivan, Pizza Hut wants some help with some smaller initiatives outside of assignments already contracted to BBDO. Sullivan would not divulge what agencies may get that portion of the company's business.
BBDO New York has produced multiple commercials for Pizza Hut, including those for the $80 million Big New Yorker pizza campaign.
In light of comments made by Pizza Hut president, Mike Rawlings, in October, it's likely the company will ramp up advertising activity soon. In October, he cited reduced advertising in September 2001 as one reason for the decline in that month's sales. Additionally, the college football bowl season is just weeks away, and the Super Bowl, the busiest day in the U.S. pizza business, just weeks after that.