Burger King considering WSW as agency of record

MIAMI: Burger King is in discussions with Weber Shandwick Worldwide

(WSW) to become the fast food company's first agency of record in

institutional memory.



In April of this year, the number-two hamburger chain hired Christopher

Clouser as its first global marketing officer since 1996. At the time,

VP of corporate communications Rob Doughty told PRWeek that BK had no

plans to take on an agency of record. But both sides have now confirmed

that they have been working together on a project basis for the past

month, and are considering strengthening their relationship. BK

executives said they have called off talks with the Miami office of

Fleishman-Hillard.



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

Doughty of WSW, which currently handles only US assignments.



Three WSW offices and eight to 10 staffers are working on various BK

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 over 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."



So far, WSW has helped BK announce new alliances with DreamWorks and the

Harlem Globetrotters, as well as an enhanced alliance with longtime

partner Nickelodeon.



Doughty promised more announcements to come.



"We're going to have a lot of news going forward," said Doughty. "We've

got excellent leadership, and they're bringing in very innovative

thinking about treating this brand as the very powerful brand it is. We

decided to bring Weber Shandwick into the fold and use them."



Some of the company's announcements have been tweaked to tie into

current events. For example, the multi-year Globetrotters deal now has a

charitable component. As announced last week, the team will donate a

dollar per mile traveled to the Red Cross Liberty campaign during the

200-plus-city tour kicking off this fall. BK will match the $100,000 contribution.



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