Hardee’s Food Systems, Inc. announced December 2 that it has selected Johnson/Ukropina Creative Marketing as its new national creative agency. The Irvine, California-based agency will be responsible for national broadcast production, as well as print, point of purchase and menu merchandising for the restaurant chain.

Johnson/Ukropina has served as the promotional and merchandising agency for Carl’s Jr. for the past six years, and as the merchandising agency for Hardee’s new remodel program, popularly known as “Star Hardee’s.” Both Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s are divisions of CKE Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: CKR).

“Johnson/Ukropina is an entrepreneurial agency with both strategic and tactical strengths,” said Robert Wisely, executive vice president of marketing for CKE Restaurants, Inc. “Their work has always delivered results and shown a special flair, and our long working relationship attests to that.”

“We liked the concepts they presented, and we are moving forward,” said Wisely. “The look, tone and manner is right on the money for our core Hardee’s customers and prospective customers.”

“This is an exciting time for Hardee’s, and we want our advertising to reflect that,” said Rory Murphy, Hardee’s president and chief operating officer. “We have invested millions of dollars in enhancing the look, taste and feel of our restaurants, and we want to motivate people to experience the new Hardee’s.”

Wisely expects the new campaign to debut in March 2000. Johnson/Ukropina will be responsible for creative development and execution of the new campaign.

Johnson/Ukropina was founded in 1991 by Carolyn Johnson and Joyce Ukropina after successful careers with Los Angeles-based DJMC Advertising, Jack in the Box Restaurants and Newport Beach-based Cochrane Chase, Livingston & Company, Inc.

Hardee’s Food Systems, Inc., a North Carolina corporation based in Rocky Mount, NC, is a wholly owned subsidiary of CKE Restaurants, Inc., a Delaware corporation based in Anaheim, Calif. CKE Restaurants, Inc. is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange as CKR. Hardee’s owns and operates a system of approximately 2,900 company and franchised quick-service restaurants in the US and 10 other countries.

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