DDB to Divvy Up McD’s

Having reclaimed lead agency status on the McDonald’s account last week, DDB Needham executives, including Dallas chief creative officer Jim Ferguson, will meet this week to discuss how assignments will be split among their network offices, sources said.
Ferguson was part of the five-member DDB Needham pitch team that presented to McDonald’s two weeks ago. Before joining DDB in 1995, Ferguson was a senior vice president and creative director on McDonald’s at Leo Burnett. He created the “Nothing But Net” campaign, among others.
DDB Needham Dallas is expected to be heavily involved in handling the business, though Chicago is the lead office. Ferguson declined comment on the possible division of assignments.
Executives at DDB Needham last week repeated for McDonald’s operators the presentation that earlier won it creative control of the chain’s national advertising.
DDB chairman Keith Reinhard’s evocation of his personal attachment to the brand was an important factor, insiders said. DDB presented only one theme, “Did Somebody Say McDon-ald’s?” Burnett retains the creative work for kids and pre-teens.
Brad Ball, McDonald’s senior vice president, domestic marketing, said there will be no media buying competition. Burnett will handle planning and buying for its assignments–an estimated one-quarter of the account. Ball said he expects to move remaining planning and buying to DDB after a “due diligence” assessment of its media capabilities.
McDonald’s spent $600 million in 1996, according to Competitive Media Reporting. –with Steve Krajewski