The fast-food behemoth is shifting the account out of Bell Pottinger Public Affairs following a long-running pitch process.
McDonald's head of public affairs Hugh Milward told PRWeek: 'We were looking for an agency with the capacity to support us in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, as well as Westminster.' He said that while Portland did not have a presence in these parts of the UK, its consultants had demonstrated 'a sense of the priorities of the devolved Parliament'.
Portland is headed by former Downing Street deputy communications
director Tim Allan.
The McDonald's account is understood to be worth at least £100,000
McDonald's initially drew up a long-list of 30 agencies, which it whittled down to four - Portland, Blue Rubicon and The Ledbury Group and The Bell Pottinger Group, which put forward a team headed by former
Downing Street communications director David Hill.
Milward described Hill as a 'very impressive figure'. He also said that recently established outfit The Ledbury Group was 'very powerful' and added that Blue Rubicon had 'impressive specialists'.
The pitch was overseen by McDonald's V-P of communications Nick Hindle.
Bell Pottinger Public Affairs chair Peter Bingle said: 'It is a interesting decision by Nick Hindle - as McDonald's prepares to deal with the last two years of a Gordon Brown government and the likely election of a Conservative government - to appoint Tony Blair's former spin doctor Tim Allan. It will cause surprise both within and outside of government. That said, I have lots of good memories of McDonald's and wish them well. Tim has many challenges ahead of him. I wish him every success.'