Papa John’s breaks with Endeavor to name Havas’ Camp + King creative agency of record

Camp + King's first campaign for the brand will star board member Shaq

Beleaguered pizza chain Papa John’s has parted ways Endeavor Global Marketing and named Havas-owned Camp + King as its agency of record, thereby consolidating the bulk of its media and creative with the French holding company.

The brand, which named Havas Media as its integrated media agency of record in October 2018, has shifted its creative account just one year after appointing Endeavor.

Endeavor declined to comment but confirmed it was no longer working with the brand. The agency was first appointed as Papa John’s was experiencing the worst of its reputational crisis, sparked by racist remarks made by its founder, John Schnatter.

Its previous agency, Laundry Service, retired the account in the wake Schnatter's use of a racist slur on a phonecall, according to Forbes.

Papa John’s declined to comment on which agencies it invited to pitch this time around, including Endeavor. Its global chief marketing officer, Karlin Linhardt, said Camp + King was chosen for the “the energy and insights they brought in their creative concepts”.

“Camp + King shares our commitment to having diverse talent both behind and in front of the camera,” added Melissa Richards-Person, chief brand officer at Papa John’s. “Their team will add new perspective and ideas as we write the next chapter for the brand.”

Camp + King has already begun creating work for the pizza chain. The first batch of creative will star Shaquille 'Shaq' O’Neal, Papa John’s franchisee, board member and brand ambassador, as part of its reported $40m marketing push designed to revive love for the brand and help boost dwindling sales.

The account will be managed out of Camp + King’s Chicago office and supported by its San Francisco headquarters.

Kristin Barbour, managing director of the Chicago base, will lead the business.

She said: “Papa John's has always been a leader in quality. As a personality who is larger than life, Shaquille sets a natural path for the brand to touch the hearts and minds of its customers. That's what pizza is all about - bringing people together over fun."

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