Burger King marketing chief quits

Burger King head of UK marketing Pat Griffin has left the fast-food giant, as it limbers up for a major advertising assault on rival McDonald’s.

Griffin, who also handled marketing for Spain, is leaving to join a marketing consultancy. No reason was given for her departure. The company is starting to look for a replacement.

She was appointed to the post of marketing manager for UK and Spain (BK does not have a UK marketing director) last August after the company decentralised its marketing and split activities into selling burgers and selling franchises.

Griffin reported to Keith Snelgrove – who took on the role of marketing director for Europe, Middle East and Africa at the time of Griffin’s appointment.

BK launched a series of press ads last week which favourably compare its own burger size to McDonald’s.

In the US, BK has been running taste-test ads through its US agency Ammirati & Puris/Lintas that pit the chain’s Whopper burger against McDonald’s Big Mac and Wendy Burger’s Single burger.

BK is understood to be considering the possibility of running the same type of campaign in the UK following the implementation of the Trade Marks Act, which makes some forms of comparative advertising easier.

“I would not rule out bringing that campaign to the UK,” says Snelgrove.

The size-based campaign is expected to run for three months, followed by a promotion in the summer.

If BK runs a taste-test campaign it will probably be in the autumn.

In February, BK appointed D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles to handle its ú23m ad account in Europe – including the UK business – from this month. The ú8m UK account was previously held by Saatchi & Saatchi.

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