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McDonald's Starts Global Media Agency Review

By Published on .

Credit: yaoinlove/iStock

McDonald's is beginning its first global media review in more than 10 years, now seeking to work with a roster of preferred agencies rather than a single partner.

OMD, the company's longtime media agency, will be participating in the process, McDonald's said. "Our long-term relationship with OMD remains strong," McDonald's said in a statement.

"As part of our journey to build a better McDonald's we are striving to make our marketing dollars work harder—through more efficient media spending and better connections with our customers," it said.

McDonald's said the plan to switch from a single global media agency to a "small roster" strategy should help the company find the media services and capabilities it wants across all of its markets.

Still, cost-cutting appears to be a focus. McDonald's stressed that it expects to gain efficiencies from the move.

McDonald's also has funds freed up from its decision earlier this year to end its global sponsorship of the Olympic Games. Those dollars can go toward strengthening its digital investments, it said. McDonald's, like other marketers, is trying to do more with its data via marketing that's personalized but still has mass reach.

Representatives from OMD, which is part of Omnicom Group, referred calls to the client. In July, Ad Age reported that all media duties for U.S. co-op marketing had been moved to OMD, according to multiple people familiar with the situation.

In August 2016, McDonald's hired Omnicom over Publicis Groupe to handle all U.S. creative, following a competitive review. The holding company created a dedicated McDonald's shop, led by DDB, named We Are Unlimited. The fast-feeder also has a longstanding relationship with Interpublic Group of Companies PR shop Golin.

McDonald's worldwide measured media spending declined 12.5 percent to $2.2 billion in 2016, according to the Ad Age Datacenter. It was the 19th largest advertiser globally, with worldwide ad spending down 5.8 percent to nearly $3.31 billion.

The review was reported by the Wall Street Journal on Thursday afternoon.

The plan was announced two days after McDonald's posted strong third-quarter results. Comparable sales rose 6 percent globally and 4.1 percent in the key U.S. market.

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CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article misidentified Golin as part of Omnicom Group. It is a unit of the Interpublic Group of Companies.

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