INTERNATIONAL: Burger King set to hire first agency of record

MIAMI: Burger King is in discussions with Weber Shandwick Worldwide

to become the fast-food company's first agency of record.



Last April, the number two hamburger chain hired Christopher Clouser as

its first global marketing officer since 1996.



At the time, V-P of corporate communications Rob Doughty said Burger

King had no plans to take on an agency of record.



But both sides have now confirmed they have been working together on a

project basis for the past month, and are considering strengthening

their relationship.



Burger King executives said they have called off talks with

Fleishman-Hillard's Miami office.



'Our intention eventually is to use Weber Shandwick globally,' said

Doughty. WSW currently handles only US assignments.



Three WSW offices and eight to ten staff are working on various Burger

King projects.



Gail Heimann, president of global consumer marketing, heads the account

from New York.



The Miami WSW office, Weber RBB, handles local press, and WSW's Chicago

office works on product launches, which Doughty said will be plentiful

during the next few months.



'Burger King is doing a full-court press on a lot of fronts,' said

Heimann.



'It could potentially be a big assignment, but it's something being

served up on a project-by-project basis right now.'



WSW has helped Burger King announce alliances with DreamWorks and the

Harlem Globetrotters, as well as an enhanced alliance with longtime

partner Nickelodeon.



Doughty promised more announcements to come: 'We've got excellent

leadership, and they're bringing in very innovative thinking about

treating this brand as the very powerful brand it is.'



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