In media headlines, you can hear the echoes of “The Fast Food Wars” banging down the fries-encrusted, grease-stained hallways of restaurants everywhere. As PR professionals, we think a claim like that is fluff, as if the conflict will keep us watching or reading for another few minutes.
And then when we see a story like this from Reuters, perhaps copywriters are onto something. In summary, for 40 years, the Clown has provided Heinz ketchup to its millions served. Recently, Heinz has hired a new CEO for a reinvigorated era in its history. Unfortunately for them, that new CEO is Bernardo Hees…former grand poobah of Burger King.
And so, McDonald’s is ending that relationship with Heinz. Let the wars continue:
“We value the relationship we’ve maintained with Heinz for more than 40 years. As a result of recent management changes at Heinz, we have decided to transition our business to other suppliers over time. We have spoken to Heinz and plan to work together to ensure a smooth and orderly transition of the McDonald’s restaurant business, and are confident that there will be no impact to our business, our customers and our great tasting food at McDonald’s.”
Imagine you are working PR for Heinz. Your company hires a great guy with blazing executive past, but he’s got that secret — he led the dreaded enemy of your largest vendor for years. Someone care to throw up a red flag there? In the world of cutthroat capitalism, surely this idea had to be hurled against a whiteboard.
However, like a monkey with his poo, that idea was just stinky to the people making big bucks. And no, that’s not egg on Heinz’s face. Just putting that out there.
MEMO to Hunts and Del Monte: Your move.