Olive Garden is conducting a creative agency review, the Italian restaurant chain confirmed Wednesday. The company also confirmed that its long-time ad agency Grey Advertising, part of WPP, would participate in the competitive pitch.
Grey has been the restaurant’s agency for 30 years. The franchise, part of Darden, spent over $150 million on ads last year, according to Kantar.
Olive Garden issued a statement indicating that it “is in the process of evolving the brand experience at every guest touchpoint. As a part of this, Olive Garden is reviewing its key, strategic partnerships to ensure we have the right support in place. Olive Garden will be launching a review of its creative agency. Grey, the incumbent agency, will participate in the review.”
Jose Duenas, EVP of Marketing at Olive Garden, stated that “Grey has been a tremendous partner and has played an important part in helping to build the Olive Garden brand. We deeply value the relationship we have with them and are glad they will be a part of this process.”
Michael Houston, CEO of Grey North America, said: “For more than three decades, we have helped grow Olive Garden into one of the most recognizable brands in the country. We look forward to being a part of the review process.”
Search consultant Pile and Company will lead the review.