WPP WINS BURGER KING ACCOUNT

Young & Rubicam to Handle Bulk of $340 Million Work

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Burger King Corp. is consolidating the bulk of its $340 million advertising, interactive and promotional business with WPP
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Group's Young & Rubicam, the burger chain's CEO, Brad Blum, said today. Media buying and planning will be handled by WPP's MindShare.

"In a rather thorough review, looking at strategy, creative approaches and, frankly, also working relationships, Young & Rubicam demonstrated an ability to develop a mix of work that focused on driving sales short-term, and building the brand long-term," Mr. Blum told AdAge.com today.

Y&R Advertising, Wunderman
Young & Rubicam's Y&R Advertising, New York, becomes lead agency on creative and also assumes duties for field marketing while Wunderman handles promotion.

Michael Patti, worldwide creative director and CEO of Y&R Advertising, New York, will be the lead creative on the account, while Ron Bess, vice chairman for integration and business development for Young & Rubicam, will be the account chief.

Agencies that have been axed from the company's roster include independent Amoeba, which was the lead creative shop for general marketing efforts; Interpublic Group of Cos.' Deutsch, Los Angeles, which had handled field marketing and also created one general market campaign; and MediaFirst, which was responsible for media buying and planning.

DraftWorldwide loses
Interpublic's DraftWorldwide, which had been responsible for promotional work, loses that business to WPP's Wunderman. Meanwhile, Premium Surge, a division of DraftWorldwide, will continue to handle kids' premiums business. DraftWorlwide also said it would continue to do some work for the chain's non-U.S. restaurants.

Shops whose assignments remain unchanged are Interpublic's Campbell Mithun, Minneapolis, for kids marketing; UniWorld, part-owned by WPP Group, for African-American advertising; Bromley Communications, a Publicis Groupe agency handling Hispanic marketing; and Equity Marketing, with Premium Surge, will continue to handle kids' premiums business.

The closely watched move follows the company's discussions with a number of advertising agencies over the past few months. Young & Rubicam's chairman-CEO, Michael Dolan, working with Mr. Patti, led that company's pitch. Meanwhile, Grey Global Group's longtime creative Steve Novick, who worked closely with Mr. Blum when Mr. Blum ran Darden Restaurant Group's Olive Garden and Grey handled the chain's advertising, led his company's pitch. Campbell Mithun and Deutsch also pitched ideas, as did internal Burger King advertising groups.

"Each agency was given a similar assignment, to discuss the brand vision, to present ideas, primarily TV-oriented, to suggest further media opportunities," Mr. Blum said.

"We feel good about our selection," Mr. Blum said. "We want to come up with an effective, long-term advertising campaign. For example, at Olive Garden, the 'When you're here, you're family' campaign ran for a long time, but with a variety of executions."

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