Wendy's 'New' CEO Will Stay The Course

Under Kerri Anderson's interim CEO-ship, Wendy's posted five consecutive months of same-store sales increases. So it's no surprise that Anderson, who was named Wendy's president and CEO for good last week, will make no significant changes in the chain's marketing or advertising strategy.

Dublin, Ohio-based Wendy's, which has 6,300 U.S. locations, will continue to focus on 18- to-34-year-old consumers via a number of strategies, including posting video clips on YouTube. The clips, four so far, lead viewers to bbv99.com, a Web site touting Wendy's value menu. The newest clip, posted on Oct. 26, features hungry "space adventurers."

"In recent months, we have been successful in getting our marketing messages across with greater impact and clarity," said a Wendy's spokesman. "Our advertising is resonating with consumers. That being said, we're always working to make it more impactful, particularly with younger consumers 18-34."



In November, Wendy's will offer gift cards for the first time, and will promote Double Melt cheeseburgers. In December, the chain will reintroduce a chicken club sandwich, featuring a chicken fillet, Swiss cheese, bacon, mayonnaise, tomato and lettuce on a Kaiser roll. All new menu items will be promoted with Wendy's current tag line: "Do What Tastes Right," and will be supported with in-store merchandising materials and national advertising. McCann-Erickson is Wendy's agency of record.

In other menu developments, Wendy's is testing breakfast in 120 restaurants, and it says early results are "promising."

For October, Wendy's company restaurants posed a 1.8 percent sales increase, compared to a negative 2.1 percent for October of last year. Franchised stores posted a 0.8 percent gain, compared to a 1 percent gain the prior October. The company attributed the gains to a promotion of a 99-cent Junior Bacon Cheeseburger and crispy chicken sandwich.

In a release, Anderson said she was "confident that the strong November promotional calendar will result in strengthening sales trends."

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