Turns out Wendy in Russia is a little sexier than Wendy in the states.
The Moscow Times reports that a Wendy's in Moscow -- the first stand-alone location in Russia -- featured two girls outside the restaurant dressed as Wendy during the location's opening. Sure, the girls had the signature pigtails and ribbons, but they wore short dresses, striped knee-high socks and stiletto heels -- which, now that we think about it, sounds kind of like a "sexy" Halloween costume.
But the move came as a bit of a surprise to a visiting Wendy's executive. Wendy's /Arby's Group Chief Operating Officer Andrew Skehan told the Moscow Times that he had not been aware of the of the franchise group's decision to sex up the icon, but the article points out that "Skehan allowed that the Russians were the most beautiful Wendy's girls he had ever seen."
Franchisee Wenrus Restaurant Group chief Alexander Kovaler told the paper that he sexed up the Wendy image to appeal to a younger demographic. Generally, the core audience in fast food is mostly men 18 to 24 years old, so we guess this makes sense.
Contrast the sexy Wendy's girls in Russia with the much less risque ads that were tested in a couple U.S. markets late last year. The ads, which broke in November in Las Vegas, featured the real Wendy Thomas -- the company's namesake and daughter of founder Dave Thomas -- touting the Dave's Hot 'N Juicy Cheeseburger, marking the first time she'd appeared in any ads despite her face being part of the logo since 1969.
The Moscow Times article also points out that Wendy's in the '80s -- during the Cold War, of course -- aired ads that "poked fun at the lack of choice in the Soviet Union and the stereotypically large Soviet woman" with a sort of Soviet fashion show.