The Coppell-based pizza chain should generate plenty of work for Publicis, given that CiCi’s CEO Mike Shumsky told me last year that his company has identified 73 markets nationwide in which its low-cost buffet restaurants would work, and that they hope to add 500 new units during the next eight to 10 years.
Dallas-based Richards Group was also reportedly in the running for the account. CiCi’s was looking for a new agency after bringing in a new chief marketing officer last year. As Stan Richards, principal of the Richards Group, recently told me (when we were discussing other matters): “Anytime the CMO changes, the agency is in jeopardy.”
A new CMO likes to signal a new direction right away, which usually means a new ad agency. Richards said he wasn’t surprised when his own firm lost Red Lobster as a client last year, after that restaurant chain hired a new CMO.Â “It’s one of the hazards of the industry. The average life of a CMO is under two years, so it’s a constant issue,” Richards says.