McDonald’s has called a review of its entire &£6m children’s advertising business, threatening Leo Burnett’s 17-year tenure on the &£42m UK account.
The review, which is seen by insiders as a “test-bed” for a full advertising review later in the year, comes hot on the heels of a creative summit called by new global marketing chief Larry Light, during the most troubled period in the fast-food giant’s history.
McDonald’s has confirmed that it has put the advertising for its Happy Meals and the brand and promotional advertising around Ronald McDonald up for pitch. The pitch is being handled by Agency Assessments.
A McDonald’s spokeswoman says that now seemed an “appropriate time to look at new thinking”, with the launch of new initiatives such as Fruit Bags and the New Tastes menu, aimed at offering lower-fat alternatives.
The winning agency will be picked from a selected shortlist but the spokeswoman says that the company will look outside its global roster. She claims, however, that Burnett will continue as lead agency. DDB handles McDonald’s in the US and TBWA Worldwide handles business in Europe.
She adds: “The new agency, when appointed, will work closely with Burnett and under its stewardship – which includes its strategic thinking and creative guidelines for the brand.”