H&L and Davis Elen Land Regional McDonald’s Accounts

Had been at Arnold

McDonald’s named new ad agencies for a handful of its Eastern regions, covering New England, upstate New York, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. 

In New England and Albany, N.Y., the fast-food giant's operators will be working with H&L Partners, San Francisco. The assignment covers nearly 600 restaurants from Connecticut to Maine as well as the Albany area. The agency, formerly known as Hoffman Lewis, has a long history with McDonald's, having worked on local business in Northern California since 1998 and in St. Louis since 2001. As a result of the latest win, H&L said it will open a Boston office.

In addition to hiring H&L, McDonald’s awarded Davis Elen advertising duties for the chain’s Baltimore and Washington D.C. locations, sources said. The Los Angeles agency reportedly already works for local McDonald’s operators in Southern California. Davis Elen execs didn’t respond to Adweek inquiries.

Both pieces of regional business had previously been handled by Arnold Worldwide in Boston and Washington D.C. The Havas agency was invited to participate in the reviews but declined. After McDonald’s' transition out of Arnold in October, the agency will no longer work for the brand. Arnold has had a 50-year history working with the chain, primarily in local markets—although it has also handled some national assignments for McDonald’s' Dollar Menu and Egg McMuffin.

Earlier this summer, McDonald’s confirmed it was looking for a new agency to handle regional co-op creative in the Baltimore and D.C. regions. Subsequently, the chain put the local Boston and Albany business into review. McDonald’s looked at adding new agencies to handle those local assignments but thought existing experience and knowledge was critical so went with roster agencies, sources said.