Arnold Set to Fend Off Rivals for McDonald’s

Client’s Boston Assignment Goes Into Play Through Pile and Co.
BOSTON–After several weeks of mulling a formal review, the Boston Regional McDonald’s Co-op has placed its estimated $16-20 million ad account in play.
The co-op has engaged consulting firm Pile and Co., Boston, to contact agencies on its behalf.
Pile will screen retail-oriented shops with sufficient manpower to execute advertising as well as in-market promotions for the 315 fast-food restaurants in eastern Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire that comprise the group, according to Judy Near, executive vice president at Pile and Co.
The account is the largest chunk of regional McDonald’s business handled by Arnold Communications, which manages 20 groups stretching from Maine to the Mississippi River totalling some $130 million in billings.
Arnold has serviced the Boston co-op for more than 30 years. A representative for the co-op said several weeks ago that Arnold would be subjected to a review but stopped short of saying the process would include other shops. Since then, Arnold has recruited John Verret in Boston and Jon Tracosas in New York to help shore up the business [Adweek, Jan. 17]. Both executives are expected to play key roles in preparing the agency’s pitch. They report to Arnold managing partner Tom Lawson, who oversees all the fast feeder’s business.
The timing of the review is especially dicey, since the agency’s parent company, Snyder Communications in Bethesda, Md., is said by sources to be close to selling its holdings. McDonald’s is one of Arnold’s largest clients along with Volkswagen of America.
Neither Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston, nor Mullen, Wenham, Mass., the region’s two other large ad agencies, will participate in the pitch because of potential conflicts. Hill, Holliday handles Dunkin’ Donuts and Mullen is currently competing against four out-of-region contenders for the $60-million ad account of Subway in Milford, Conn. K