McDonald's heats up plans for satellite units

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McDonald's Corp. will open nearly twice as many satellite units as it will conventional restaurants in the U.S. this year, executives said at the marketer's annual meeting last week. Getting closer to the customer through satellite units--now located in airports, gas stations and 400 U.S. Wal-Mart Stores locations--is of prime importance, since 75% of all decisions to eat at McDonald's are made within 5 minutes of the actual visit, executives said. Satellites aren't yet contributing to McDonald's bottom line, however, because of the high development costs involved. McDonald's this year will open 400 to 500 full-size restaurants in the U.S. and 800 to 1,000 abroad. Most of its 1,000 new satellites will be built in the U.S.

Oracle Corp. chose Ketchum Advertising, Los Angeles, for its estimated $10 million account, previously handled by Woolward & Partners, San Francisco. The review had included McCann-Erickson Worldwide, San Francisco.

Nissan Motor Corp. USA this week begins airing a knockoff of a well-remembered commercial knockoff. The new network TV spot shows how an Altima is still able to balance wine glasses on its hood even after it has 117,582 miles on the odometer. It's a sequel to the '92 introductory Altima spot that itself played off of a commercial for an expensive Lexus. Chiat/Day, Venice, created the Altima ads; Team One, El Segundo, did the Lexus original.

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