McDonald’s Launches a Creative Review to Consolidate Its Ad Business in the U.S.

By Patrick Coffee 

McDonald’s has issued an RFP for its creative advertising business in the U.S. for the first time in several years.

This means that either one or both of its current lead shops will end up losing the account. AdAge reports that the fast food chain wants to consolidate its work with a single shop, but a source tells us today that the client simply wants to stick with one holding company. A spokesperson also said that this all remains to be determined.

From an official statement the client gave us at Adweek:


“We are committed to modernizing McDonald’s, including how we create customer-facing content. While we value the relationships we have with our current agencies, and will only ever work with companies that share our values, we recognize the agency world is evolving. As such, McDonald’s USA is exploring solutions that will provide us with greater integrated strategic thinking, creativity and brand consistency across all our consumer touch points.

We’re seeking the best recommended approach from the holding companies so we’ll learn of the recommendations through the RFP process, which will guide us in the decision making.”

The chain picked Leo Burnett to lead its rebranding effort after the agency beat out DDB in a closed 2014 review; it later went with the shop to promote its All Day Breakfast push after someone at DDB (allegedly) leaked the “Lovin’ Beats Hatin'” tagline to the Wall Street Journal’s CMO Today blog. This all followed the January 2014 hire of CMO Deborah Wahl.

Of course McDonald’s is a huge account despite the fact that it made what Kantar Media describes as “large cutbacks” to its marketing budget last year.

Last week, the company announced that it had exceeded its own revenue projections for Q1 thanks in large part to the success of the All Day Breakfast offering. Since Leo Burnett created those campaigns, the Publicis agency would appear to have something of an edge in the review.

For now, though, the matter is being discussed on the holding company level. All three of the biggies received the RFP.

No word on whether IPG or MDC Partners felt left out.