McD’s Chills Arnold

BOSTON-Cracks are starting to appear in the longstanding relationship between McDonald’s restaurants and Arnold Communications.
McDonald’s Boston co-operative has put the Boston-based shop on notice, stopping just short of placing its estimated $20 million creative and media account in review.
Sid Boorstein, president of the Boston co-op, said in a statement that over the next three to six months, “as a matter of good practice, we plan to review this advertising agency relationship.”
The co-op-among the single largest regional McDonald’s groups handled by the Boston shop and one of its largest clients after Volkswagen of America represents 315 owner/operators in eastern Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire.
Arnold managing partner Tom Lawson said the agency would go to “every length” to address the co-op’s issues and try to thwart a competitive review situation. “We will leave no stone unturned to make [the client] happy,” Lawson said.
Earlier this year, Arnold launched a single $100 million brand and retail promotion campaign adopted by all its groups throughout the Northest. Sources say it has not generated the desired result. Another issue stems from dissatisfaction over how the account is staffed, sources said.
There may an overriding issue, noted another source: “The real trouble is throughout the fast-food industry; people just aren’t buying.”
In July, the Boston co-op replaced Arnold Public Relations with Bishoff Solomon Communications, also of Boston, after a review.
McDonald’s lead agency is DDB Needham Chicago.