6TH STRAIGHT EARNING DROP FOR MCDONALD'S

Execs Call for 'Fewer and More Focused' Ads

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Defying gains across the fast food category, McDonald's Corp. reported its sixth consecutive earnings decline but said it expects better results in the second half as it implements revamped service initiatives, more focused advertising and menu rotations.

Fueled by a 33% net income loss the company blamed on weak economic conditions overseas, the world's largest fast-feeder reported net income of $253.1 million, or 20 cents per share, for the quarter ended March 31, compared to $378 million, or 29 cents per share, for the same quarter last year.

Sales at stores

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open at least a year were flat across the U.S.

Revamped counter service
During the second half, the Oak Brook, Ill.-based chain will begin a revamped counter service program called Team Service that reallocates cashiers to order assembly as well as an toll-free customer feedback hot line.

McDonald's is still mulling whether it will provide a national or regional everyday low-priced value program after mixed results in tests across 4,000 units.

While executives provided no details about how they would simplify advertising, they acknowledged there is a "need for fewer and more focused messages."

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