Marketer of the year: Jill McDonald McDonalds Restaurants

jill%20macdonaldJill McDonald became senior vice-president and chief marketing officer of McDonald’s Restaurants, Northern Europe in May 2006 after a 16-year career with British Airways. At BA she rose through the ranks from brand manager to become head of global marketing.

The stories about childhood obesity and unhealthy eating that have recently preoccupied the media could have put the head of a fast-food chain on the defensive, but McDonald decided to meet the bad press head on. She set about dispelling what she says are untruths about the quality of McDonald’s food and how it is made.

“In the past two years we’ve followed a strategy of talking to our detractors as well as our customers,” she says. Her intention was “to be more open and transparent about the brand”, adding: “There are a lot of myths, but 70% of British consumers and 80% of British families eat with us each year.”

McDonald takes her own young sons to eat at McDonald’s twice a week. “It is a myth that eating burgers and chips is not good for you,” she says.

“There’s no such food as good food and bad food. It’s all about having a balanced diet.” Jill appointed a Le Gavroche-trained head of food to her team and introduced a healthier, fresher menu including fruit and vegetables and chicken wraps. The restaurants have been given a makeover with harsh lighting and white plastic seats giving way to a subtler décor. Last December alone 88 million McDonald’s meals were served in the UK, 10 million more than in 2006.

sponsored by Hays Marketing

hays-common.gifHays Marketing is delighted to support the Marketer of the Year Award at the 10th Marketing Week Effectiveness Awards. Every day, we meet creative and strategic marketers who are passionate about marketing. Our consultants are equally passionate about helping them progress their careers. We are therefore proud to be associated with the Marketing Week Effectiveness Awards 2008.

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