Inspire Brands Puts $424M Media Portfolio Up For Review

Inspire Brands is placing its national media business up for review, under Jones Lundin Beals + Partners (JLB+P).

Last year, the restaurant company spent $424 million advertising its brands, including Arby’s, Sonic, Buffalo Wild Wings and Jimmy John’s, according to Kantar Media.

Incumbent agencies have been invited to participate in the process, though it is unclear whether the representing agencies will defend. Inspire currently works with Zenith on Arby’s and Sonic, Mindshare for Buffalo Wild Wings, and Haworth on Jimmy John’s.

“As a multibrand company, we see an opportunity to better align our media approach with a focus on custom targeting, digital business, and CRM efforts alongside optimizing media delivery and impact,” said Brian Pruitt, vice president, media strategy and planning of Inspire Brands.



The company has struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic with many of its chains hindered by the lockdown. Buffalo Wild Wings locations across the country were closed and profits were hurt by the March Madness cancellation. Jimmy John’s deliveries were impacted with office and college campus closures.

Inspire’s portfolio advertising dropped to $99.2 million between January and May 2020, compared to $183 million spent during the same time frame in 2019, reports Kantar.

“This review of our media agency assignments will help sharpen our competitive and innovative edge,” says Pruitt.

Inspire ranks as the U.S.’s fourth-biggest restaurant company with more than $14 billion in annual sales and 11,200 locations in 16 countries.

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