Hardee's Food Systems contacted more than 50 agencies around the country last week as it kicked off a review for the creative portion of its $80 million account.
Among those agencies are: Agnate, Thomas, Hedge; Margeotes/ Fertitta & Partners; and Publicis/ Bloom, all in New York; and Team One Advertising in El Segundo, Calif., sources said.
Jim Bishoff of Los Angeles-based consultancy Strategics is assisting the client. "We're still working on some of the logistics with the Hardee's management team," he said. "The agency selected will have experience in at least the retail chain business and some food service business."
Media planning and buying duties, handled by Carat ICG in Los Angeles, are unaffected, as are shops providing regional support.
Team One, which inherited the business when Leonard Pearlstein joined the agency with the account in tow, has been invited to participate [Adweek, Oct. 20].
Hardee's parent CKE Restaurants also owns Carl's Jr. restaurants. Mendelsohn/Zien Advertising in Los Angeles, which handles the $25 million Carl's Jr. ad account, has declined to pitch. "M/ZA has chosen to focus its efforts on the Carl's Jr. system and advertising program," said agency principal Richard Zien.
CKE is test marketing the conversion of some Hardee's into Carl's Jr. sites in Illinois and Oklahoma. More conversions are expected. Bishoff declined to comment on how this will affect the account or the review.
The agencies contacted have until Oct. 31 to respond, and a list of about 12 shops will then be selected. The group will be cut to about 6-8 semifinalists, then 3-4 finalists, said sources. A winner should be selected by February, Bishoff said.
In a related move, CKE last week promoted Robert Wisely to executive vice president of marketing, with oversight on Hardee's and Carl's Jr. --with Teresa Buyikian and Teresa Andreoli