Today Yum Brands announced that it has launched a media agency review for the KFC chain after more than a decade with WPP's MEC.
Los Angeles consultancy Select Resources International will run the search, and the incumbent agency has opted not to defend the business. An MEC spokesperson has not yet responded to a request for comment on the news.
The press release reads, "The search seeks to identify and select a world-class agency capable of deploying innovative media strategies while leveraging cost efficiencies and maximizing return on investment."
KFC's most recent agency review occurred last February, when the chain left its longtime creative agency FCB after more than a decade and Wieden + Kennedy won the account. The latter shop's subsequent campaigns have featured a number of different comedic actors playing the iconic role of Colonel Sanders: So far the list has included Darrell Hammond, Norm MacDonald, Jim Gaffigan, George Hamilton and, most recently, The Daily Show veteran Rob Riggle.
Like many restaurant chains, KFC has looked to cut its marketing expenses in recent years as competition in the sector heats up. McDonald's recently consolidated its nearly $1 billion advertising business with Omnicom in a unique pay-for-performance arrangement.
In 2014, a study by Janney Capital Markets reported that Chick-Fil-A had passed KFC as the top chicken-based restaurant chain in the United States. According to the most recent numbers from Kantar Media, KFC spent just over $55 million on measured media during the first quarter of 2016. That total marks a slight decline from the same period in 2015, when the chain spent $56.5 million for an annual total of $223 million.