The decision, which ends one of the most closely watched reviews
in recent years, means that Publicis' Leo Burnett Co., which has worked
with McDonald's for 35 years, will no
longer be on the U.S. roster. However, Publicis will still have
some business for the fast-feeder outside the country.
"Publicis as a whole has been a great partner and we continue to
value the relationship," Ms. Wahl said.
"While this news is certainly very disappointing, we're
extremely proud of the Power of One thinking we brought to
McDonald's," Leo Burnett said in a statement. "The work we've done
over the years for McDonald's has been nothing short of
spectacular, and we can be particularly proud of having been
partners throughout their business turnaround. We wish them
The review began in late April and included Omnicom Group,
Publicis Groupe and WPP, which dropped out of the process this
When WPP dropped out of the race for the McDonald's account, some suggested
it was because the chain was asking the companies to work at cost.
"That was not from us at all," Ms. Wahl said. "It wasn't about a
cost exercise or not paying anything to the agency. The purpose is
to look, again, in this new world where the level of storytelling
and creative is so exponential, how do you do that in a way that
makes sense and that you can afford to do."
Still, McDonald's is "adding a
pay-for-performance aspect to it," Ms. Wahl said, based on metrics
that will be a mutually agreed upon mix of more classic marketing
metrics and brand health, along with items such as restaurant sales
and traffic, or the number of visits. She declined to be more
For McDonald's, a key factor in its
choice was this new agency model, which Ms. Wahl said should enable
the brand to be faster and more flexible and allow the agency to
handle an increasing number of assignments.
"It's poised to deliver the caliber and certainly the volume of
storytelling that's needed to support our business today which,
frankly, has increased exponentially and we think that trend is
going to continue," Ms. Wahl said. She stressed that digital and
data will be at the core of the new agency and should help the
massive brand personalize its consumer engagement.
"Exactly 18 weeks ago today, we received a dream brief from one
of the most iconic brands in the world... to create 'the agency of
the future,'" said DDB's Ms. Clark. "The best and the brightest
talent across multiple Omnicom agencies came together over the last
four months to create, operationalize and deliver on that brief.
The result is a customized agency built with intelligence at the
core, to fuel brilliant creative work, that's delivered at the
speed of the marketplace at an efficient cost. We are thrilled and
honored to be selected and excited about immediately creating
impact for McDonalds business."
McDonald's was the 28th largest advertiser in the United States
in 2015, spending $1.43 billion, according to the Ad Age
The review only covered the U.S. creative account. Omnicom Media
Group's OMD Worldwide, McDonald's existing media
agency, was not involved in the pitch at all in order to keep the
process "extremely equitable," Ms. Wahl said. Neither was DDB's Alma, which does some of McDonald's
McDonald's is the latest big win
for Omnicom. Earlier this month, AT&T consolidated its
creative, digital and media accounts with the holding company.