McDonald’s seeks to trim fat from agencies

Well the sauce is going to get a little less special for some of McDonald’s regional agencies.

According to Ad Age and Agency Spy reports, as well as confirmed by a Los Angeles creative recruiter, the Chicago-based fast food giant is looking to consolidate more of its advertising at We Are Unlimited, the dedicated Omnicom agency.

This will be accomplished by greatly reducing the number of creative agencies handling marketing for cooperative franchise groups that operate throughout the United States.

In the U.S., McDonald’s current messaging platform comprises a mix of national and local campaigns. Some 60 or so agencies currently manage and create this work for nearly 200 McDonald’s co-ops across the country, with some agencies handling work for multiple co-ops. McDonald’s aims to slash that figure to ten or fewer, people familiar with the situation told Ad Age.

According to the reports, the chain has been working for more than two years to become what Mickey Dee’s CEO Steve Easterbrook has often called a “modern, progressive burger company.” Now, after last year’s national agency shakeup, followed by the addition of a new president of the U.S. business and a new U.S. CMO this year, McDonald’s wants to find a better way to tell its brand story.

McDonald’s spokeswoman Terri Hickey said in a statement provided to Ad Age. “In order to accelerate our efforts to engage customers across all platforms to advance our brand vision, we aim to streamline and modernize our local marketing efforts in 2018.”

According to the publications, sources close to the matter have claimed that the review will be handled by Select Resources International and will include both current roster agencies and newcomers, who will begin pitching the week of July 17. Beyond those details, not much appears to be known about which specific agencies are involved in the review.

Among the agencies working on regional McDonald’s accounts are Zimmerman Advertising, Davis Elen, Doner, H&L Partners, Stern and Bernstein-Rein, whose recent work for the client includes a campaign centered around a promotion tied to the Kansas City Royals and a March campaign promoting the Filet-O-Fish.

Follow Colin Costello on Twitter @colincostello10.