Burger King's Australian outlets may take the BK name

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MELBOURNE -- Burger King, franchised under the Hungry Jack's trademark in Australia, is considering switching its name back to Burger King to capitalize on its strong U.S. branding, according to Marc Gough, Burger King director of marketing, Asia-Pacific.

Research has discovered there is a surprising 80% brand awareness of Burger King in Australia, driven by product placement in U.S. films. Also prompting the change is a marketing deal signed last year between the U.S. parent company and the Shell gas station chain. The move would allow extensive use of U.S. advertising. Hungry Jack's advertising is handled here by Hertz Walpole.

Hungry Jack's launched in Australia in 1972, a year after McDonald's, but lags well behind with less than 100 stores nationwide. Major franchisee is Jack Cowin's Competitive Foods, with a number of small independent operators.

Gough said: "We have been talking with all of our franchisees about where we are going as a brand. There is the potential for some upside in the Burger King trademark but we are also cognizant of Hungry Jack's heritage and there is no clear cut decision at this stage."

Copyright February 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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