Cliff Freeman wins $80 mil Hardee's account

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Cliff Freeman & Partners, New York, have got the beef again. Freeman was awarded the estimated $80 million Hardee's Food Systems account today, beating out TBWA/Chiat/Day, Playa del Rey, Calif., and WestWayne, Atlanta. Martin Agency, Richmond, Va., was also a finalist, but pulled out of the review, Hardee's said. Johnson/Ukropina, Irvine, Calif., previously handled. Mr. Freeman, known for having penned the Wendy's International tagline: "Where's the Beef?" while he was at the now-defunct Dancer Fitzgerald Sample agency, pitched the Hardee's account himself. The Hardee's account is the largest fast-food account for the Freeman shop since it lost Little Caesar Enterprises several years ago. The Freeman agency currently handles the Quizno's Corp. sandwich chain, but will not have to resign the business, a Hardee's executive said, citing different trading areas, dayparts and customer base. New Freeman creative for Hardee's, expected to break in the first quarter, is not expected to use edgy story lines such as have been employed in Freeman's Quizno's work. "Our customers are Southeastern and Midwestern with traditional values," said Hardee's Chief Marketing Officer Brad Haley. "Edgy, in your face, is not the formula. Humorous and breakthrough is."

Copyright November 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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