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(May 9, 2001) -- Two McDonald's franchise cooperatives have awarded their advertising accounts to Hoffman/Lewis, San Francisco.

The McDonald's Advertising Co-op of St. Louis and Metro East and the Peoria-Bloomington Co-op, in Indiana, made the decision following a review that included incumbent Omnicom Group's The Integer Group, Denver. Another McDonald's agency, Moroch Partners, Dallas, was a finalist.

Hoffman/Lewis already handles advertising for the 260 McDonald's stores in the San Francisco region, which runs from Sonoma to Monterey. The agency had developed a popular campaign using Eddie the Echo, a character described as a hipster and dufus, but that campaign has been shelved during the rollout of the new McDonald's "We love to see you smile" national effort.

The win brings another 200 stores into the shop.

Hoffman/Lewis is staffing up a full-service office in St. Louis to handle the account and plans to have 12 employees in the outpost.

"Our objective is to leverage our regional success nationally," said Bob Hoffman, principal.

The independent agency claims $80 million in billings with 45 San Francisco employees. Other clients include the Northern California Toyota dealers as well as Bank of the West and Horizon Organic Dairy. -- Alice Z. Cuneo

Copyright May 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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