McDonald’s Sees Some Solutions In a More Regional Ad Strategy

McDonald’s Corp. summoned its major regional advertising agencies to its Oak Brook, Ill., headquarters last Friday for briefings following the announcement of a new, more decentralized structure.
Part of what they heard from Brad Ball, senior vice president for domestic marketing, is that regional ad initiatives will have more importance and bigger budgets in the future, sources said. The number of “local windows”–when localized ads replace the national message–will likely double to at least six. That will give franchisees a louder local advertising voice.
Major regional McDonald’s agencies include Arnold Communications in Boston; DDB Elgin in Seattle; DavisElen Advertising in Los Angeles; Fahlgren in Dublin, Ohio; Kragie/ Newell in Des Moines, Iowa; and Moroch & Associates in Dallas.
Separately, national agencies Leo Burnett and DDB Needham are expected to make strategic presentations to McDonald’s management this week. At stake is which of the two will take the lead role on the chain’s $600 million national ad account after Sept. 1.
The regionalization may diminish the national agencies’ roles somewhat, but they will still create the majority of McDonald’s U.S. advertising. –with staff reports