More Agency Relationships on the Line at Burger King

Reviews Begin in Two Global Markets as Quartet of Shops Readies Pitches Stateside

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Since announcing it was parting ways with MDC Partners' CP&B last month, Burger King has added two more reviews to its list. The fast feeder told Ad Age it is conducting agency reviews in Spain as well as the U.K.

The news of Spain and U.K. reviews indicate the company is seeking a different marketing strategy stateside than it is in Europe, and even within Europe, the chain seems to be plotting different local approaches. That's a departure from the strategy Burger King has used for the past several years; previously all three accounts were handled by CP&B. The agency also previously worked with Burger King in Germany.

"The company employs a localized marketing communications approach throughout its regions worldwide," Miguel Piedra, VP-global communications at Burger King, said in an email to Ad Age. "Advertising agencies are selected based on the needs of individual markets and are managed by local marketing teams." Burger King also works with Lowe DLKW in the U.K.

Meanwhile, the U.S. search for an agency to succeed CP&B, which worked on the account for seven years, is well under way. Burger King has already held meetings with agency contenders, and presentations of creative ideas are expected to take place next month. The agencies believed to be participating in the U.S. review are Dentsu's McGarryBowen, Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi, Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann Erickson and a consortium of WPP agencies. (WPP's Ogilvy & Mather handles Burger King in Brazil, but also has global Yum Brands accounts.)

Burger King allocates the majority of its measured media spending to U.S. advertising. The fast feeder spent about $432.6 million globally in 2009, 71% of which was on the U.S., according to Ad Age's DataCenter. In the U.S., Burger King has been pulling back on its marketing budget slightly over the past three years; according to Kantar Media, it spent $301 million on domestic measured media in 2010, down from $308 million in 2009 and $327 million in 2008.

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