A Whopper of a Win for IPG

NEW YORK — Interpublic Group is looking for a top executive to oversee and coordinate the $300 million U.S. Burger King account following new assignments awarded to IPG shops Deutsch/LA and Media First International, sources said.

It is believed that IPG is looking both internally and outside its agencies for the right executive.

“They’re working hard to get a big name,” said one executive. The new position would function as a top-level “traffic cop” to “make sure everything works together,” said another source. IPG declined comment on either the new wins or the search for a top exec.

Media First and Deutsch share the fast-food advertiser with IPG siblings Campbell Mithun, Minneapolis, the agency for kids’ marketing, and Draft Worldwide, which handles direct response, merchandising and promotions.

The moves eliminate Bcom3 and D’Arcy from the Burger King roster and consolidate the bulk of the advertiser’s business at IPG agencies.

The Miami-based client is moving its estimated $50 million-plus regional advertising business from Bcom3’s D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles in New York to Deutsch/ LA, sources said. In addition, the client is shifting an estimated $200 million in national TV buying now at D’Arcy sibling MediaVest to Media First, New York, which already handles Burger King print and cable buying.

In May, Deutsch/LA landed a new, estimated $50 million creative assignment without a review from Burger King for a new value menu.

Len Fink of Amoeba in Santa Monica, Calif., created the “At BK, you got it” campaign featuring Shaquille O’Neal. Since last fall, Fink has worked exclusively as the chain’s creative chief and will continue in that role, sources said.

For D’Arcy, the Burger King loss is the third time this year that it has been on the short end of a consolidation. In April, its $30 million U.S. Pampers account was consolidated at Publicis Groupe’s Saatchi & Saatchi. In May, the agency lost its estimated $110 million global Masterfoods business two months after shutting its St. Louis office, which handled much of the U.S. work, to Omnicom’s TBWA\Chiat\Day in Playa del Rey, Calif., and BBDO New York.

D’Arcy executives could not be reached. Deutsch referred calls to the client, which did not return calls.