Church’s Chicken(TM) Names The Cartel Group as its Advertising Agency

Church’s Chicken(TM) Names The Cartel Group as its Advertising Agency

First time a QSR names a multi-cultural agency as its Flagship Agency


ATLANTA—(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–March 24, 2004–Church’s Chicken(TM), a division of AFC Enterprises, Inc. (Ticker: AFCE), today announced that it has selected San Antonio, TX-based The Cartel Group as the quick service chicken restaurant company’s advertising agency of record following a nationwide search. Church’s Chicken is the first quick service restaurant to name a multi-cultural agency as its flagship agency.

“Our goal was to select an advertising agency to best serve the unique needs of our customers – Hispanics, African-Americans and Caucasians,” said Church’s Chicken Chief Marketing Officer, Melinda Ennis-Roughton. “This was not an easy task as all of the agencies in the competition demonstrated an excellent understanding of our business and what we are hoping to accomplish with our new advertising direction. The Cartel proved to us that they were imaginative and resourceful in their strategic ideas for Church’s, a key factor in the selection process.”

Church’s Chicken began a comprehensive agency review in September 2003 and subsequently narrowed it down to three finalists including MIRROR, a subsidiary of Levenson & Hill, a collaboration of LatinWorks/Fuse/KB&P and The Cartel Group. Church’s Chicken was looking for a very unique type of agency, one that understands the dynamics of the quick service restaurant and/or retail industry in addition to having a deep understanding of and experience with multi-cultural market segments including Hispanic and African-American audiences.

“We are honored to be able to leverage our skill set to serve such a terrific brand in this groundbreaking, new direction. Both Church’s Chicken and The Cartel Group share a passion for reaching the urban marketplace in an innovative and culturally relevant way,” said Victoria Varela, CEO of the Cartel Group.

The agency’s responsibilities will include strategic planning, advertising development and media planning. The billings for the campaign are between $15-to-20 million. Levenson & Hill have been working on the transitional ad campaigns and will remain, along with Carat, the field media agencies.

About The Cartel Group

One of the top 15 advertising agencies in the Southwest, The Cartel Group is a full-service marketing communications firm headquartered in San Antonio. Although primarily specializing in the Hispanic market for over a decade, its revolutionary ideas and integrated solutions have delivered positive results against General Market and African-American consumers. The Cartel Group is the current agency of record for the U.S. Army, JCPenney, Williamson-Dickie Manufacturing Co. and the Latina Leadership Institute.

About Church’s Chicken

Church’s Chicken, one of the world’s largest quick-service chicken restaurant concepts, focuses on high quality food served at a value price. Menu specialties include Southern-style chicken and side items such as corn on the cob, fried okra, mashed potatoes and gravy, and signature Honey-Butter Biscuits. Church’s Chicken has more than 1,500 locations worldwide, driving system-wide sales of approximately $900 million in 2001. Visit Church’s Chicken on the World Wide Web at

About AFC Enterprises

AFC Enterprises, Inc. is the franchisor and operator of 4,091 restaurants, bakeries and cafes as of February 22, 2004, in the United States, Puerto Rico and 36 foreign countries under the brand names Popeyes(R) Chicken & Biscuits, Church’s Chicken(TM) and Cinnabon(R), and the franchisor of Seattle’s Best Coffee(R) in Hawaii, on military bases and internationally. AFC’s primary objective is to be the world’s Franchisor of Choice(R) by offering investment opportunities in highly recognizable brands and exceptional franchisee support systems and services. AFC Enterprises can be found on the World Wide Web at



Elyse Blazey; 212-508-9619

Church’s Chicken(TM) Names The Cartel Group as its Advertising Agency