Wendy’s names Kapkan Thaler new ad agency

DUBLIN Ohio Wendy’s International Inc., a division of Wendy’s/Arby’s Group Inc. and parent to the nation’s third-largest hamburger chain, has named the Kaplan Thaler Group its lead creative agency. Kaplan Thaler will handle Dublin-based Wendy’s advertising, media planning, digital marketing and restaurant activation.

Kaplan Thaler was selected after an agency review involving five agencies, including kirschenbaum bond + partners, which had been Wendy’s lead agency since January 2008 and created its current “Waaaay Better” advertising campaign.

“This announcement is an important next step as we focus on driving innovation, strengthening our marketing communications and executing our turnaround plan for the Wendy’s brand,” said chief marketing officer Ken Calwell. “This is a part of our overall brand strategy to build Wendy’s reputation as the quality leader in the hamburger quick-service restaurant category with enhanced customer service, breakthrough new products, improved core menu choices and leading-edge marketing.”

Wendy’s agency review was part of a strategy overhaul begun in September 2008 when it merged with Arby’s parent Triarc Cos. Inc. to form Wendy’s/Arby’s Group. The plan also includes a reorganization of the market-testing and research and development processes that have produced a record number of new products in test for the chain. Its latest rollout of a new menu item was the early-June introduction of boneless chicken wings, available in three flavors.

The company said the next step in its agency review process, to be completed later this year with the assistance of Kaplan Thaler, would be to select agencies to handle Wendy’s multicultural marketing, media buying and public relations.

Wendy’s will introduce a new marketing campaign during the fourth quarter of 2009.

Contact Mark Brandau at [email protected] [3].