McDonald's and its franchisees have picked seven agency groups to handle local advertising for the chain across the United States, Ad Age has learned.
Previously, about 60 agencies handled local advertising for nearly 200 cooperative groups across the country. Now it appears that just seven agencies will handle the load going forward. They'll be working with a smaller number of co-ops, perhaps fewer than 100, as McDonald's adjusts the composition of its regional groups nationwide.
According to multiple sources familiar with the pitch process, McDonald's appears to have selected seven groups to be certified as agencies that can work with the co-ops. Bernstein-Rein and Fahlgren, which each worked with McDonald's co-ops in the past, are collaborating as a team. So are two other incumbents, Moroch and Stern. Davis Elen and H&L are two other incumbents that have been selected, sources said. And it appears three newcomers are set to join the roster: Doner, Lopez Negrete and Zimmerman.
McDonald's declined to comment. The agencies involved either declined to comment or could not be reached for comment.
Meanwhile, dozens of agencies that have had relationships with McDonald's co-ops are going to soon lose that business. The media side of those local accounts, which was often handled by the local agencies, has already been moved to Omnicom's OMD. Omnicom is also home to McDonald's national creative agency, We Are Unlimited, which was formed after a separate pitch process last year.
The pitch process is still ongoing for the certified agency groups, which must now present to co-ops to try to win their business.