Little Chef is looking for a new agency to mastermind a pounds 5
million TV ad blitz, described as the chain’s biggest for nearly a
The roadside eatery has parted company with Barrington Johnson Lorains &
Partners and is talking to M&C Saatchi, Grey and TBA Marketing about the
Creative work from the shortlisted shops has been put into research and
a decision is expected next week. The winning campaign will run
nationally and regionally between Easter and September.
The Granada Group-owned company is believed to have called the review
after criticism of poor value and service. Granada bought the business
in early 1996 from the Forte group and has been trying to ditch Little
Chef’s 60s image ever since.
The move is an attempt to stabilise an agency roster that has suffered
several changes in the past year. The chain appointed Clark & Taylor to
handle the business last April, but moved after the agency picked up the
conflicting Harvester account. Barrington Johnson has been caretaking
the brand for three months.
Jenny Heath, marketing manager for Little Chef, confirmed the review,
explaining: ’Little Chef is a fantastic brand with loads going for it,
but it has suffered from a lack of investment. We want to pump life back
Media planning and buying are unaffected by the review and will remain
with TMD Carat in Manchester.
No-one at Barrington Johnson was prepared to comment on the review as
Campaign went to press.
Little Chef has also handed TBA its pounds 3-4 million print, radio and
through-the-line account, which had also been temporarily with
Barrington Johnson. The business was moved without a pitch after TBA
proved its mettle working on a number of other Little Chef projects.