Not great news for Omnicom’s We Are Unlimited.
According to the report, around ten employees were laid off and eight transferred to parent agency, DDB, as a result of changes to the McDonald’s business.
Another AS source claims the number impacted could be significantly higher, with some employees leaving at the end of the month and others by end of the year.
McDonald’s launched a review of its U.S. agency model back in July, while also sending an unspecified project to W+K New York. It’s curious how W+K would handle the account as it is responsible for creative duties for KFC out of its Portland office.
Omnicom set up We Are Unlimited as a unit dedicated to the McDonald’s account after winning creative AOR duties back in 2016
We Are Unlimited’s exclusive contract with McDonald’s ended back in January, leaving the shop free to pursue new business opportunities.
Last fall, McDonald’s sent lead creative duties on its McCafe brand to TBWA\Chiat\Day L.A following a closed “jump ball” pitch which involved We Are Unlimited and TBWA. Agency partners Burrell, IW Group and Lapiz provided support for both agencies.
In addition, former ECD Toygar Bazarkaya left the agency in July to pursue an opportunity on the West Coast at Optimist.
The AgencySpy report also states that it’s possible that more We Are Unlimited employees could be impacted as the client’s creative account continues to evolve, including possible transfers to TBWA.
This move comes at no big surprise. We Are Unlimited, along with its agency partners, created mostly good work for McDonald’s. There were numerous times the creative was featured in our Reel Ad of the Week.
However, the fast food giant can go cold on an agency as quickly as its fries. It is no secret the restaurant can become fickle and switch accounts around after three years or so. The shoot out was traditionally between DDB and Leo Burnett. But it would now seem like McDonald’s has widened their scope.
Reel Chicago reached out to We Are Unlimited. There was no comment.