Burger King moots strategy review

Burger King global chief executive officer Dennis Malamatinas is believed to have launched a review of the fast-food chain’s worldwide marketing structure following the departure of North American president Paul Clayton.

Clayton quit his post to become chief executive of natural fruit juice and soup chain Jamba Juice.

Malamatinas has taken on Clayton’s duties, and is delaying appointing a replacement while he considers the company’s overall structure.

A spokeswoman for Burger King in the US says: “Malamatinas is evaluating the whole structure of Burger King. He hasn’t announced a time scale or how the company will be organised.

“But the European and Asian regions report into Malamatinas and the review could well involve marketing structure.”

Clayton is widely regarded as having turned around Burger King’s fortunes in the US.

But he was critical of global creative agency Ammirati Puris Lintas, now Lowe Lintas, when two US ads were pulled last September. He said the TV advertising needed to be “more relevant and likeable”.

Clayton also oversaw the recent withdrawal of 25 million Pokémon plastic balls in the US after a young girl was said to have suffocated on one of the toys.

A UK spokeswoman for the Diageo-owned chain claims: “There is no review of the marketing strategy as a result of Clayton leaving.”

Burger King’s UK and Ireland marketing director Lorraine Thomson is overseeing the current “White Van Man” campaign, created by Lintas.

Thomson reports to Andre Lecroix, president of the company’s European, Middle East and African operations.

Diageo’s results for the year ending June 30 1999 indicate that the chain came under tough competition in the US, offsetting growth in the rest of the world, and leaving like-for-like sales flat overall.

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