Mcgarrybowen Joins Disney Roster

NEW YORK Independent mcgarrybowen has parlayed a project into a slot on Walt Disney Parks & Resorts’ U.S. roster of agencies, alongside longtime lead shop Leo Burnett, the client confirmed.

Disney spends about $200 million in measured media annually to advertise its theme parks and resorts, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Mcgarrybowen’s previous project was a 2005 spot celebrating Disney’s 50 years in the theme park business. The New York agency will now handle brand initiatives and special projects for the Burbank, Calif., client, the shop confirmed.

The hiring of mcgarrybowen illustrates the client’s move away from a single lead agency—Leo Burnett—and toward a multi-shop setup. Disney considers Burnett and mcgarrybowen to be “equal” agency partners and uses Omnicom Group’s TBWA\Chiat\Day in San Francisco for projects, said Michael Mendenhall, evp of global marketing at the client. And Disney is thinking about adding TBWA\C\D to the roster as well, Mendenhall said.

“We are looking for the best creative against our strategic programs. We like the idea that there are different approaches” from different agencies, he said.

In explaining the hiring of mcgarrybowen, Mendenhall cited the agency’s “incredibly quick” grasp of the Disney brand and its consumers as well as some “very good work.” He added: “We’ve been incredibly pleased with them. They are a very talented agency.”