Burger King runs promo review, asks 5 finalists to pitch project

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As Burger King Corp. begins sending questionnaires to about a dozen agencies for its $400 million general ad account, the No. 2 fast-feeder is also quietly conducting a promotions review.

Five finalists have been asked to submit plans for an undisclosed promotional project within 10 days, according to insiders. Agencies participating include roster shops Omnicom Group-owned Alcone Marketing Group, Irvine, Calif., which currently handles retail promotions; and Equity Marketing, Los Angeles, the marketer's premiums agency.

Upshot, the Chicago-based promotions division of Ha-Lo Industries, was also said to be involved in the review, although a spokeswoman for Upshot declined to confirm or deny the agency's participation. Calls to Alcone and Equity were not returned. The identities of the other agencies could not be confirmed by press time.


The promotional project is the latest stage of a larger promotions review Burger King has been conducting for several weeks. Details of the project couldn't be learned, but the review was described as "comprehensive" by an executive close to the process.

"A lot has to do with research, strategy and testing," said the executive. "There's always a project, but lots of other elements are involved."

While fees and billings were not disclosed, Burger King's promotional war chest is said to command $50 million of its total marketing fund.

Whether all promotional work will be awarded to one or more agencies following the review was unclear.

"Every time we do these reviews, they always evaluate how they want to structure business," said the executive. "We need to get all the information in before deciding a final outcome."

Meanwhile, Burger King has ruled out using a consultant for its advertising review and will conduct it in-house.

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