McDonald's signals stronger link with M&C Saatchi

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AUCKLAND -- M&C Saatchi New Zealand has been forced by McDonald's Australia to dump one of its key local accounts, Burger King, so that McDonald's can build a "stronger relationship" with M&C Saatchi, Sydney. Burger King New Zealand was worth about $8 million a year to M&C.

M&C Sydney broke DDB Sydney's 25-year exclusive grip on McDonald's $40 million-plus Australian business one year ago when it was appointed to handle special promotions for the chain. The new development suggests DDB may lose more of the account.

Tom Dery, M&C Saatchi Asia Pacific executive chairman, denies rumors that the agency's Sydney office had been appointed to handle McDonald's chicken and fish sandwich products in Australia. "McDonald's has been very generous in allowing us to hang on to the Burger King business in New Zealand for such a long time since we won McDonald's Australian business," he says.

Burger King marketing director in New Zealand Graeme Plum says the account would be moved to Ammirati Puris Lintas, Auckland. APL handles Burger King in Australia and is working on a $40 million campaign to establish the chain's name in Australia, where it is more generally known as Hungry Jack's. APL also handles in New York, London and in several Asian countries.

Copyright February 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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