McDonald's digital priorities: People not platforms

Geoffrey Precourt

Deborah Wahl, McDonald's SVP/CMO, told delegates at the Interactive Advertising Bureau's (IAB) 2016 MIXX Conference that marketing has reached an "industry pivot point" with "a shift [that] has all of us grappling with a new world order that's causing us to think, plan, and act very differently than ever before."

Wahl, in fact, acted differently in late August 2016 with the consolidation of the brand's $1-billion account to a still unnamed division of Omnicom, ending a 34-year relationship with Leo Burnett, a unit of Publicis Groupe.

But change had been in the air long before the completion of the 18-week agency review. The evidence? Walk into a McDonald's restaurant anywhere in the US, and you'll see marketing expertise put into play in an extraordinarily untraditional way.