Wendy's Awards Digital Shop VML With Full-Service Creative AOR Duties

QSR chain Wendy's has appointed VML, part of WPP, as its new creative agency of record -- replacing Publicis, which had the account since 2009.

The win is a big get for VML as Wendy's spent about $282 million on ads in 2014, according to Kantar Media. Through the first nine months of last year, the restaurant chain spent an estimated $220 million, per Kantar.

To date, the Kansas City-headquartered VML has served as the client’s digital AOR and is now assuming full creative AOR duties, the companies confirmed.

VML is a digital agency, but has lately been redoubling efforts to win full-service creative accounts. Last year it won lead creative duties for Motorola, Keurig and several other clients.

The account shift comes after Kurt Kane was appointed Wendy’s Chief Concept & Marketing Officer last year. He joined the company after serving in a similar role at Pizza Hut. 



“VML has proven that it can tell the Wendy’s story in a modern and compelling way that drives winning business results,” said Kane. “By streamlining the creative process with VML, we believe our advertising and marketing disciplines will continue delivering strong results across our business, while further setting our brand apart from the QSR pack.” 

VML has served as the digital AOR for Wendy’s since 2012 and has developed omnichannel campaigns for the brand in 2015 and early 2016. VML’s work for Wendy’s has won dozens of awards, including Cannes Lions, Effies, One Show and Facebook Studio.

Most recently, VML led creative development to launch Wendy’s new campaign, dubbed “Deliciously Different.” 

Added VML CEO Jon Cook: "We've always held the same values and beliefs when it comes to how to create impactful messaging. There is no “digital” marketing—only marketing. Our results together have proven the value of thinking differently.”   

VML will work alongside a roster of agencies to support the brand, including Bravo, MediaVest, Saatchi and Saatchi X and Ketchum.


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