Costa Mesa grilled chicken chain El Pollo Loco Inc. (Nasdaq: LOCO) tapped Initiative to be its strategic media agency of record as it ramps digital efforts.
This puts Initiative, part of Interpublic Group of Co.’s media division IPG Mediabrands, in charge of El Pollo Loco’s media planning and buying for TV, radio, print, search, social, online video and other channels.
The business is valued at $30 million.
The restaurant operator has in the past worked with Harmelin Media beginning in 2016 to handle media planning and buying.
The move comes as El Pollo increases its spend on digital media, which has gone from 5% of the overall media budget to more than 30% in less than two years. Digital sales this year have so far tripled in comparison with the year-ago period with El Pollo Loco President and CEO Bernard Acoca noting in a statement “we are looking to Initiative to help grow them further.”
Initiative’s client roster includes Converse, Lego, Patek Philippe, UPS, Merck, LG and Liberty Mutual.
El Pollo Loco, which had a recent market cap of $546 million, counts more than 475 locations – a mix of company owned and franchised – in California, Arizona, Nevada, Texas, Utah and Louisiana.