Zenith Media has won the 8.8m planning and buying account for KFC after successfully exploiting an unusual chain of events.
The agency – which handled the buying for Diageo’s Burger King chain – was only free to pitch for fast-food rival KFC after it pulled out of the pitch for Diageo’s centralised media. This was because one of the Diageo divisions is Guinness Brewing, which created a conflict with existing Zenith client Carlsberg-Tetley.
The appointment reunites Zenith with John Prior, its old Burger King client. Prior was Burger King European marketing director for two years and then new product development director for just one month before leaving to become KFC marketing director for UK and Ireland (MW September 10).
The KFC media account only came up for review after unconnected events threw up another conflict. Its former incumbent agency, MediaVest, is due to merge with Leo Burnett’s media interests. Burnett handles McDonald’s around the world.
Zenith joined a shortlist of Optimedia, Initiative, Motive Communications and New PHD, and pitched in the second round against Optimedia and Initiative.
Zenith chief executive Graham Duff says: “It was as if fate brought us together. We are delighted to have won KFC, which is both planning and buying, to replace Burger King which was a buying assignment.”
The media win, which follows Zenith’s disappointment at the loss of Camelot to BMP Optimum last week, has prompted speculation that KFC will review its advertising out of Ogilvy & Mather.
But Prior says: “Any speculation that I am considering changing the creative agency is absolutely untrue.”