KFC to extend for 6 months deal with Jason Alexander

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Yum Brands' KFC is extending its talent deal with spokesman Jason Alexander to buy more time as it develops a new strategy.

KFC is negotiating with Mr. Alexander for a six-month extension to his endorsement contract, which expires this month and may delay its fall ad push, said executives with knowledge of the situation.

KFC didn't return calls for comment. But Michael Gendler, Mr. Alexander's lawyer, confirmed the extension. "It's basically done, not literally signed, but it's done," he said. "Additional terms were built in and I fully anticipate going the distance."

In November, as sales were falling, KFC had asked its agency, Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide, New York, to work up concepts without Mr. Alexander, but the agency tweaked his role and added cameos by reality TV stars Trista Rehn and Evan Marriott to promote BBQ Boneless Wings. The effort helped to end nine straight months of same-store sales declines.

"BBDO has done a pretty good job of re-engineering how [Mr. Alexander] is used, and that's why they've continued to keep him in place," said one executive close to the business. But another is unwilling to call Mr. Alexander's future secure. "I believe that it's lack of anything better at the moment that is leading their decision to re-up."

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