Wendy’s Reviews Five Agencies for Creative

Five agency teams have been briefed in the creative and media review for Wendy’s, with final presentations slated for later this month, sources said.

Sources identified the creative shops that are leading the teams as Publicis Groupe’s The Kaplan Thaler Group in New York; independent Venables, Bell & Partners in San Francisco; Interpublic Group’s The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va.; Publicis Groupe-backed Bartle Bogle Hegarty in New York; and the incumbent, MDC Partners’ Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners here.

The client’s media incumbent is Publicis Groupe’s MediaVest in New York.

The agencies either declined to comment or could not be reached and the Dublin, Ohio-based client could not immediately be reached. Final presentations are expected to take place the last week of July.

Wendy’s, a unit of Wendy’s/Arby’s Group, last year spent about $275 million in major measured media in the U.S., according to Nielsen. The client launched the review in May, with chief marketing officer Ken Calwell saying at the time that, “The timing is right for us to significantly improve how we communicate the Wendy’s message to consumers.”

Wendy’s acquired Arby’s last year in an all-stock deal valued at $2.34 billion. Wendy’s same-store sales rose 1 percent in the first quarter of 2009 (Arby’s fell 9 percent), with an overall Wendy’s/Arby’s net loss of nearly $11 million on revenue of $864 million. The loss included $15 million in special-item charges such as integration costs and other merger-related expenses.

Nielsen Business Media