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Wendy's Names Rowden CMO

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BOSTON Wendy's International said it has named Ian Rowden evp and chief marketing officer.

Rowden formerly held senior marketing posts at Callaway Golf Co. and Coca-Cola.

He will oversee all of Wendy's brand marketing strategies and initiatives, and will manage Wendy's advertising, research, product marketing and field marketing functions, according to Dublin, Ohio-based Wendy's. Rowden will report to Tom Mueller, Wendy's North American president and COO.

Wendy's lead ad agency is Interpublic Group's McCann Erickson in New York. The brand spent $320 million on ads last year and $280 million through Septemeber, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

"Ian is a dynamic executive who has successfully led marketing and advertising for highly respected global brands," said Mueller in a statement. "He will be an immediate contributor to our team with his extensive marketing experience and strategic focus on innovation, sales growth and profits."

Rowden was most recently evp, CMO at Callaway Golf for the past four years. At Coke, he was vp, worldwide director of advertising from 1995-2000.

At Wendy's, Rowden replaces Don Calhoon, who is moving into semi-retirement, reporting to chairman and chief executive Jack Schuessler, and he will focus on marketing strategies and opportunities for emerging brands.

Wendy's last month dropped its short-lived "Mr. Wendy" character and temporarily resurrected the image of its founder, Dave Thomas, in a new ad campaign [Adweek Online, Nov. 18].

TV and print ads broke three weeks ago featuring images of Thomas, who died in February 2002. A voiceover lets viewers know that the fast-food chain is "still doing it Dave's way." Thomas founded the company 35 years ago this month in Columbus, Ohio.

McCann had created the fictitious "Mr. Wendy," a well-meaning but annoying, unofficial spokesman, who encouraged people to eat at Wendy's. That work ran from February of this year through last month.