NEW YORK ? Just 11 months after awarding its estimated $80 million account to Cliff Freeman and Partners, Hardee's has moved the account to Mendelsohn/Zien in Los Angeles.
Mendelsohn/Zien becomes the St. Louis-based client's 10th agency in nine years.
Cliff Freeman won the account in November 2000 after a review that included WestWayne in Atlanta and TBWA\Chiat\Day in New York. Then incumbent Johnson Urkopina of Irvine, Calif., did not participate in the review.
The first campaign from Cliff Freeman debuted in February 2001 and focused on the fast-food chain's breakfast biscuit. The campaign was tagged "Hardee's. Come on home."
The current tagline is "The way food ought to be" and focuses on price promotions and associations with homemade food.
Cliff Freeman, chairman and chief creative officer of the ad agency, said, "The Cliff Freeman brand of advertising always pays off at the fast-food box office. I'm very pleased that even with a brand as challenged as Hardee's we kept that record intact."
Brad Haley, the client's evp of marketing could not be reached for comment on why the account was moved. Haley was instrumental in hiring the New York agency, having previously used Cliff Freeman when he was head of marketing at Church's Chicken.
Hardee's is owned by CKE Restaurants in Anaheim, Calif., and has 2,400 locations across the U.S., mostly in the South and Midwest.
Cliff Freeman and Partners is known for award-winning work in the QSR category for past clients Wendy?s and Little Caesars. Current clients include Budget Rent a Car, Fox Sports, Staples, Mike's Hard Lemonade and Quizno?s Subs.