Md. agency corrals Roy's account


Earle Palmer Brown is back in the saddle again with the Roy Rogers restaurant advertising account.

The restaurant chain said yesterday that it had selected the Bethesda-based advertising agency to oversee the $20 million account. The agency had the account from 1986 until 1990, when Hardee's Food Systems Inc. acquired the chain and moved the account to Ogilvy & Mather in New York.

Hardee's began converting many of the Roy Rogers restaurants to Hardee's, but consumers rebelled. In March, Hardee's began turning those restaurants back into Roy Rogers outlets.

While making the shift back to the Roy Rogers name, Hardee's decided to split the advertising account again for the Roy Rogers and Hardee's restaurants. A New York agency, Jordan McGrath Case & Taylor, had held the Roy's account since March.

W. Maurice Bridges, a spokesman at Hardee's corporate office in Rocky Mount, N.C., said Earle Palmer Brown had the advantage of knowing the Roy Rogers chain and its market.

Mark Goldstein, president of Earle Palmer Brown, said that because it had won the account, the agency probably would add 10 employees to the Bethesda office. The office currently has 190 employees.

The agency's first commercial for the revived account will be unveiled June 3, Mr. Goldstein said.

"The goal of the advertising is to make sure people know Roy's is back, and all the reasons they loved it before are reasons they will love it now," he said.

The agency does not plan to use Roy Rogers himself in the advertising it is working on now, but Mr. Goldstein said he wouldn't rule out that possibility in future ads.

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