McDonald’s Reviews N.Y. Co-op Account

Contest is down to 2 shops

McDonald’s is reviewing its creative account for the New York region—one of its largest in the country—but is only considering roster agencies.

The region encompasses New York City, the lower Hudson Valley, New Jersey and a sliver of Connecticut. Arnold has handled the business—with revenue estimated at less than $2 million—for about a decade.

Review decision makers, including franchisee owners, met with a half-dozen roster shops before narrowing the field to Arnold and Moroch. The remaining contenders are now preparing for final presentations, with a decision expected next month.

Shops that participated in the earlier round included DDB, Leo Burnett, TBWA and GlobalHue. Each works for McDonald’s either nationally or outside the U.S. The agencies either declined to comment or did not return calls.

A McDonald's representative acknowledged the review, saying that "to remain relevant in the marketplace, we're always having conversations with agency partners about new and different ways to engage with consumers."

Arnold handles some 14 McDonald’s co-op accounts. The Havas shop also creates national work, such as the current “The Egg McMuffin of” ad. The agency declined to comment. The chain’s media spending in the New York metropolitan area totaled more than $29 million in 2010 and about $25 million in the first 10 months of 2011, according to Nielsen. Those figures don’t include online spending.

The review comes a year after McDonald’s reviewed its Chicago region creative business. In that pitch, which was contractually mandated, incumbent Leo Burnett retained the account, fending off competition from Moroch and DDB.