DUBLIN, OH: Wendy's International has announced plans to review its national agencies this summer as part of the "turnaround plan" instigated by the merger of the Wendy's/Arby's Group.
The company began evaluating all of its agency resources in addition to issuing RFPs to several undisclosed agencies in a “closed call” on June 1, said Denny Lynch, SVP of communications at Wendy's.
PR will be included in the second phase of the review, along with multicultural marketing, and media buying. The first half of the review will consider advertising, media planning, digital, and restaurant activation.
All incumbent agencies, including PR AOR Ketchum, were invited to pitch in the review, Lynch said. Ketchum deferred comment to Wendy's.
In terms of PR firms, the company is considering large agencies, that can support traditional and digital efforts, particularly the utilization of “newer tools that may not have an extensive track record,” said Lynch.
“People automatically assume that we're making changes,” said Lynch. “What we're doing is evaluating the resources that our agency partners currently have. [We're seeing] if they are the proper resources to align with our brand strategy.”
As overlaps can occur in the different marketing arms, such as digital and PR, the company is not necessarily drawing a clear line between the two phases, and some "back and forth" may occur, he noted.
The company has not decided to definitively undo its present agency structure, but it might institute a lead agency “who can drive the whole brand marketing work, but this could be a compilation of agencies like we have today,” Lynch added.
The review was put in place as a “natural evolution” of the new CMO Ken Calwell's approach to brand strategy, and was supported by comprehensive consumer and market research.