Checkers Drive-in Restaurants Inc. (Nasdaq: CHKR) today announced that it has selected MARC USA as its new advertising agency of record, effective immediately. The announcement follows a three-month review of the company’s advertising account. MARC USA will coordinate all general creative advertising and media buying for the leading double drive-thru restaurant chain.

“We saw a lot of great work throughout the review selection from all of the agencies involved,” said Richard Turer, vice president of Marketing for

Checkers and Rally’s. “MARC USA was selected because they have shown they have the people, the resources and the experience to take our brands where our new management team has set the vision. We believe the Checkers/Rally’s story is a great success and we are excited to work with such a creative group.”

“We are getting ready to set the year 2001 in motion with an exciting new look for Checkers and Rally’s,” says Dan Dorsch, president and CEO of Checkers Drive-In Restaurants. “The team at MARC USA energized us during their presentations; there was no doubt they wanted our business, no matter what. That’s exactly how I want it, with no questions about how to implement our plan and attack our business. Our committee, comprised of our corporate marketing team and designated franchisees, worked diligently to insure we selected the agency best suited for both our corporate and franchisee divisions. I’m pleased with the selection of MARC USA.”

In light of Checkers and Rally’s new company direction, the agency review began in August with an evaluation of all merchandising, product vendors and creative and media partners. Its incumbent agency, Crispin Porter & Bogusky (Miami, FL) was invited to participate in the review. In addition to MARC USA (Pittsburgh and Miami), the finalists included Austin Kelly Advertising (Atlanta), Berenter Greenhouse & Webster (New York), Fitzgerald & Company (Atlanta) and one unnamed agency. Select Resources International (Los Angeles) helped to conduct the agency review.

“We were extremely pleased with Select Resources and their professional approach,” said Turer. “Their evaluation of our needs and the capabilities of potential partners was invaluable. Their disciplined process smoothly facilitated what can be a complex and difficult decision.”

“This is a huge win for MARC USA,” said Michele Fabrizi, president and CEO of MARC USA/Pittsburgh. “We are very excited about the new direction Checkers/Rally’s is taking and are looking forward to playing an important role in the company’s future success.”

Fabrizi noted that MARC USA in Pittsburgh will be the lead office for the account and will work closely with its Miami office as well as other MARC resources across the country to implement the new marketing strategy.

MARC USA is one of the fastest growing independent advertising agencies in the United States, with more than $670 million in billings and over 500 employees. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, the agency operates offices in New York, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Miami, Indianapolis and Orlando.

In August of 1999, Rally’s Hamburgers, Inc. merged with Checkers to form Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Inc. The merger made Checkers and Rally’s Hamburgers the largest double drive-thru restaurant chain in the United States. The company develops, produces, owns, operates and franchises over 900 quick-service double drive-thru restaurants under the names “Checkers” and “Rally’s” and is headquartered in Clearwater, Fla.

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