Hardee’s Opts For Leap

Hardee’s has moved the creative portion of its $55 million account to The Leap Partnership just eight months after the agency lost out to Angotti, Thomas, Hedge in a review. Leap is the client’s sixth agency in four years.
New York-based Angotti’s work for the client, under the theme “Go all out,” had “entertainment value and humor [but] did not effectively communicate the rich, satisfying aspects of Hardee’s food or attract new customers at lunch and dinner,” said Robert Wisely, executive vice president of marketing for Hardee’s parent CKE Restaurants, in a statement.
“We are very proud of the work we’ve done for them,” Angotti president Barrie Hedge said.
CKE in Anaheim, Calif., said it went with the Chicago agency for its more aggressive approach. New work is expected in January.
The client also said its spending–$55 million last year, per Competitive Media Reporting–will rise to $100 million in 1999. Media duties will remain at Western International, which took over from Carat ICG at the beginning of the year.
Angotti won the account in February over Leap and Publicis/Bloom, New York.
Angotti, which now bills less than $100 million, created a series of TV spots that showed how far people would go to avoid jury duty, win a game of hide-and-seek or feel comfortable on casual Friday.
Sources said the loss could spur Angotti’s owner, the Interpublic Group of Cos., to merge the agency with another IPG property–a scenario Hedge disputes. “I have no knowledge of any such plans,” he said.
The win is a big boost for Leap, which vigorously pursued the business last winter [Adweek, Feb. 2]. Hardee’s now ranks as the agency’s largest client, ahead of Anheuser-Busch, for which it handles Michelob. Leap’s mission will be to pull the fast-food chain from a protracted slump. The company expects sales across its 3,000 units to drop 7 percent in the third quarter.