Industry News | December 1, 2003

McDonald's Announces Media Service Change

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McDonald's has announced plans to consolidate its systemwide media strategy, planning and buying efforts with OMD Worldwide, a division of Omnicom Group, Inc.

According to a statement, the consolidation effort is intended to deliver optimum strategic media efficiency, effectiveness and value to McDonald's restaurants and franchisees worldwide, while fueling greater innovation, creativity and cross-border media opportunities. "This unified media strategy will help us maximize the unique strengths and advantages we have as a system," said Larry Light, McDonald's Executive Vice President and Global Chief Marketing Officer. "It opens the door for better long-term planning, greater sharing of ideas and the ability to track and analyze the effectiveness of our advertising around the world."

In addition, a single agency approach will deliver substantial cost savings to local McDonald's markets worldwide, said Light. With guidance from OMD's leadership at the country level, McDonald's franchisees will continue to make local ad-buying decisions and develop local creative campaigns as they have in the past.

Concerning the media service change, Dean Barrett, McDonald's Senior Vice President, Global Brand Business, said, "We took a hard look at what we spend on media buying and how we could add strategic value and effectiveness. We want to leverage our strengths as a brand with new media strategies and technologies that are rapidly changing the media planning and buying landscape worldwide. In this process, we expect to not only save money, but to impact our customers in new and bold ways."

According to Barrett, McDonald's will continue to use the services of partners such as Starcom for digital projects and field opportunities.

"We've been served tremendously well by all of our media partners," said Barrett. "We hope by putting all of the basic media responsibility at one shop we will quickly be able to achieve a more consistent approach to media strategy across our organization."

Today, OMD has a presence in virtually every market where McDonald's does business and is currently responsible for the majority of McDonald's total media planning and buying around the world. OMD will establish local offices in each of McDonald's markets where they do not have a presence today.