KFC Drops Alexander

NEW YORK Jason Alexander will not appear in the next KFC campaign, the company confirmed.

Omnicom’s BBDO in New York, which won the KFC account in December 2000, has used the former Seinfeld star in KFC TV commercials since July 2001. The actor’s appearances in spots for the Louisville, Ky.-based chicken chain were initially successful, but talk of dropping him goes back to late 2002 when third-quarter sales showed a decline [Adweek, Nov. 4].

KFC’s most recent advertising with Alexander also featured reality TV stars Trista Rehn (The Bachelorette) and Evan Marriott (Joe Millionaire) for its Honey BBQ Boneless Wings and Honey BBQ Sauce.

“The advertising campaign has run its course,” said Bonnie Warschauer, a client representative. “Jason has helped us for the past two years differentiate KFC as a brand and put the focus on KFC’s qualities. We’ve asked BBDO to develop a new creative approach. We plan to launch the campaign in August.”

BBDO’s original tagline for the campaign was, “There’s fast food. Then there’s KFC.” Current work carries no formal tagline.

WPP’s Mediaedge:cia handles media for KFC, which is owned by Yum! Brands. According to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR, KFC spent $225 million on measured media in 2002.

Sources said Alexander’s contract with KFC was due to be renegotiated in July.