Mediavest Spark Wins KFC U.S. Media Business

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Rob Riggle as the Colonel
Rob Riggle as the Colonel Credit: KFC

KFC has picked Publicis' Mediavest Spark to handle its media planning and buying in the United States after a four-month review.

KFC called Mediavest Spark "an ideal fit for the brand, due to its spot-on approach to creating customer-centric media strategies that drive business value for brands."

When KFC announced its media review in September it said that WPP's MEC, its media agency of record at the time, elected not to defend the business.

MEC will continue "the stewardship and maintenance of all existing KFC purchase through January 29, 2017," according to a document obtained by Ad Age. The document, which was sent to the fast feeder's media partners from KFC CMO Kevin Hochman and Cynthia Koplos, executive director of the KFC National Council and Advertising Cooperative, Inc., adds that Mediavest Spark will take over all media work on January 30.

The Yum Brands chicken chain's review included media-planning and -buying responsibilities. Select Resources International was hired to assist.

In September, KFC said it was seeking an agency "capable of deploying innovative media strategies while leveraging cost efficiencies and maximizing return on investment."

The assignment includes U.S. media planning and buying across all channels, including digital and social media.

"For KFC to continue to gain traction in a rapidly evolving marketplace, we are focused on using cross-channel media touchpoints in new and unique ways to drive sales and build the KFC brand," Shindy Hodack, senior director of media and innovation for KFC U.S., said in a statement.

Mediavest Spark CEO Chris Boothe said the agency is "thrilled to partner with them in harnessing the power of cutting-edge media strategies to fuel their current momentum and further their connection with customers across the country."

Wieden & Kennedy has been KFC's creative agency since 2015. Edelman handles public relations.

KFC spent $218.8 million on measured media in 2015, down 12.3% from a year earlier, according to an Ad Age Datacenter analysis of measured-media data from WPP's Kantar Media. The chain has posted nine consecutive quarters of U.S. same-store sales gains, including a 6% jump in the third quarter of 2016.

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