McDonald's looks for South Africa agency

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JOHANNESBURG--Two months after South African agency DDB Framptons joined the global network DDB Needham Worldwide, the shop is embroiled in a defensive pitch for the prized McDonald's account. DDB was put on notice before switching its franchise to Framptons and this appears to have been a factor in ending the previous relationship.

"We are looking for an agency that can grow with us," says McDonald's Marketing Director Clara Gibbs. "The previous agency was not the right agency for that partnership, but we felt it was fair to give the new DDB agency a chance to retain the business. We hope to make a decision by the end of February, but not until we get the right agency."

McDonald's spends about $4 million a year on advertising, a figure that will grow with its planned expansion from 57 restaurants to 77 by year-end.

DDB Framptons has already lost another international client, Mobil, which conflicted with its Total gasoline account. But other DDB-aligned accounts are solid, says agency CEO Mike Frampton. They include Johnson & Johnson, Moulinex, Michelin, Henkel and Compaq.

Ranged against DDB Framptons for the McDonald's business are SBBW (a local agency) and Leo Burnett. McDonald's has already put about $600,000 of business through Framptons, which has created a new campaign, new music and positioning line ("Make every day a McDonald's day") for the client. "We are confident we'll hold on to the business," says Mr. Frampton.

Copyright February 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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