How OMD and Starcom stack up so far in McDonald's global media review

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McDonald's - Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
McDonald's - Ohio State University, Columbus, OH Credit: McDonald's

One year into McDonald's massive media review, Omnicom Group's OMD and Publicis Groupe's Starcom have each won pieces of the roughly $3.4 billion business scattered across the globe.

McDonald's began a global media review in October 2017, seeking to work with a roster of preferred agencies around the world rather than relying on a single partner. Previously, OMD handled media duties globally for the world's largest restaurant chain.

So far, OMD has retained the business in Canada, China and Germany, while Starcom has won in France. Duties in Latin America will be split between the two agencies.

The review in the U.K. was reportedly put "on pause for an extended period of time, with no certainty as to whether it might restart," Campaign U.K. wrote last week. It also remains to be seen which one wins the coveted U.S. media account.

In August 2016, McDonald's hired Omnicom over Publicis Groupe to handle all U.S. creative, following a competitive review. Omnicom created a dedicated McDonald's shop named We Are Unlimited.

Now, both Omnicom and Publicis are winning pieces of McDonald's media business as the chain tries to sharpen its focus in areas such as digital and data-driven marketing to deliver ads that are more personalized and targeted.

"Over the course of the past 14 years that we have worked with McDonald's, they have epitomized the word "partner" in the best sense of the word — they challenge, empower, and inspire us to deliver solutions that enable them to make better decisions, faster," OMD Canada CEO Cathy Collier said in an emailed statement. "It has been – will continue to be — a singularly successful, productive and ground-breaking collaboration."

Starcom declined to comment on the ongoing review.

McDonald's Canada says OMD will continue as its local media agency of record, after working with the agency for more than 14 years. McDonald's China says its portion of the review was done under McDonald's global guidance, facilitated by Ebiquity China.

Chicago-based McDonald's Corp.'s total worldwide ad spending was $3.4 billion in 2016, a 2.8 percent increase from 2015, according to Ad Age Datacenter estimates that include spending from franchisees and company-owned restaurants. The restaurant company was No. 22 on the Ad Age Datacenter's list of the world's largest advertisers for 2017. McDonald's has more than 37,400 locations in 120 countries, most of which are run by franchisees.

Europe was McDonald's largest market for measured media spending in 2016, with $779.9 million, or 36.5 percent of the total spent, followed closely by the U.S., with $773.6 million, or 36.2 percent, according to the Ad Age Datacenter.

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