DDB beats Leo Burnett to McDonald’s prize

Fast food giant McDonald’s has ditched its lead US advertising agency Leo Burnett in favour of DDB Needham, on its $400m (242m) account.

A statement issued by the troubled fast food chain, whose recent discounting policy was judged a failure, confirmed DDB Needham would take over immediately as McDonald’s lead agency – a position DDB occupied for a decade until ousted by Leo Burnett in 1981. A decision on the media account, also held by Burnett, will be made within 90 days.

According to Brad Ball, senior vice president of McDonald’s USA Marketing, Leo Burnett will still handle advertising for McDonald’s “kids, tween [young teenagers] and Ronald McDonald business”, but DDB will take over “adult and promotional advertising activity”.

McDonald’s executives played down the impact the decision will have in the UK, where Leo Burnett handles the hamburger chain’s 35m annual advertising account.

“This decision does not affect McDonald’s international business for either agency in any way,” says Ball. A spokesman for McDonald’s UK also says that the US decision will not affect the UK.

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