NEW YORK: McDonald's, the burger chain, has denied speculation that it is considering changes to its ad agency roster, which is responsible for overseeing $1.4bn a year marketing spend.
The conjecture emerged after an investor meeting, reported Advertising Age. One analyst, Mark Kalinowski of Janney, issued a note in which he said: "We believe that some of the creative [national TV ads] that have aired in recent quarters in the US have not resonated as well with McDonald's customer base as the company would like to see."
He went on to suggest that "we would …not rule out the possibility of ad-agency changes at some point".
But a spokeswoman for McDonald's rejected this idea. "Our ability to be a leadership brand is in large part due to our partnerships with the best and brightest people in the industry, including talent from some of the top agencies in the business," she said.
"To be clear," she continued, "we have not put any of our national advertising agencies 'on notice' or into review. And we are not entertaining other agencies outside of our current national-agency roster".
She added: "At McDonald's, we demand a lot from ourselves as marketers and from our agencies to bring the boldest and best ideas and thinking. This is nothing new."
An analysis of the Warc database shows there has been a total of 16 McDonald's effectiveness award-winning case studies or prize entries in Asia and Europe over the past two years, with the latest US case, the launch of Real Fruit Smoothies, dating from 2011.
During the investor meeting Jeff Stratton, president of McDonald's USA, acknowledged some problems, reported the Wall Street Journal, including the introduction of too many new menu items too quickly which had slowed customer service.
Potential initiatives from the same meeting, reported by Seeking Alpha, included kiosks in grocery stores, an intensified push into premium beverages, and an expansion of breakfast items in global markets where early-day sales currently lag.
Data sourced from Advertising Age, Wall Street Journal, Seeking Alpha; additional content by Warc staff