Industry News | July 16, 2002

Burger Chain Shifts Ad Accounts As Sale From Diageo Nears

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According to Advertising Age,Burger King announced yesterday that within the next three months it will transfer approximately $250 million of its advertising business to two new Interpublic Group of Cos. roster shops. Over the past 17 months, as its split from Diageo nears, Burger King's management team has been moving its accounts to a variety of agencies with ties to Chris Clouser, Burger King's global chief marketing officer.

As reported by Ad Age, Burger King's marketing and creative accounts will go to Deutsch, while media planning and buying assignments will be transferred to Media First International, both New York. Formerly, the number two chain used Bcom3 Group's D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Chicago and New York, its field agency since 1994, and sibling MediaVest, New York.

Burger King wouldn't confirm billings or how the dollars are allocated.

We're very pleased with the talent from Deutsch and [Media First], plus the oversight of [Interpublic],", Rick Dow, Burger King senior vice president of marketing programs and sales told Ad Age, emphasizing the marketer's need for rapid turnaround and long-term strategic thinking. "We can do that very readily across the [Interpublic] network. These are fundamental advantages, but if from time to time we need to tap ad hoc resources, we will."

Mr. Dow denies that the decision to shift Burger King's ad account was tied to the upcoming sale of the chain. Several executives close to Burger King told Ad Age that Interpublic initiated the move in an effort to gain a foothold with Burger King before the split with Diageo takes place.