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Fast-Food Chain Cancels 'Mr. Wendy'

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NEW YORK Wendy's said it will discontinue its "Mr. Wendy" spokescharacter, introduced in a February campaign crafted by Intepublic Group's McCann Erickson. Those ads are tagged "It's better here."

The Dublin, Ohio-based client said work featuring "Mr. Wendy" will end its run at the end of this month and that New York-based McCann is developing a new direction that will focus on the chain's heritage and menu offerings.

The new work is expected to bow in December, the company said.

McCann was awarded the $300 million account in August 2002 without a review from Bates Worldwide, which has since ceased operations.

In a statement, client evp of marketing Don Calhoon said, "While decisions are still being made about new creative, food has always been the hero at Wendy's, and we're going to make sure that comes through loud and clear."

Calhoon was unavailable for further comment on why "Mr. Wendy" was being discontinued.

Wendy's revenue increased more than 13 percent to $914 million through the first nine months of 2004, compared to the same period last year.

The company operates more than 6,500 restaurants in North America and other parts of the world.