PizzaExpress begins agency talks

PizzaExpress is believed to be in talks with agencies about an integrated advertising campaign.

The pizza chain does not have an advertising agency of record but is understood to be in talks with a number of undisclosed agencies.

It has traditionally relied on its high street network and word-of-mouth marketing to promote its name.

However, in December the pizza brand revamped its supermarket range to emphasise the links between its takehome products and chain of restaurants.

Design agency Pearlfisher was tasked with creating packaging which would raise the image of the product while cross-promoting to the brand’s outlets. Promotional material relating to the group’s other activities, including jazz clubs, appears on the backs of packs.

In the summer of 2004 the company hired Pistol Marketing to promote its takeaway business with a direct marketing campaign.

In the campaign, a small takeaway pizza box, with a menu, jotter pad and letter, was distributed to homes near the chain’s restaurants. It was the first time it had launched such a campaign.

Gondola Holdings, which owns PizzaExpress, Ask and Zizzi pizza restaurants, has been facing stiff competition on the high street in recent years. In September 2006 the group reported sales were down 12.6% to £10.4m in the year to July 2.

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