Fast food giant McDonald’s is on the verge of appointing a lobbying firm
to provide political monitoring and analysis.
Head of communications Mike Love declined to reveal the names of the
agencies he had talked to, although APCO UK, The Communication Group,
Rowland Sallingbury Casey and McDonald’s retained PR agency Scope
Communications are believed to have been on the list.
Love said he had now narrowed the choice down to two - not including
Scope - and would be making a decision shortly.
The brief is understood to cover both monitoring and ‘general advice’
though, at this stage, fees are thought likely to be quite low.
The company has a long-standing relationship with political consultant
Geoffrey Tucker, which Love said would continue.
However, it is believed this will be the first time the company has used
a public affairs agency on a retained basis. The decision to do so is
understood to be the initiative of Love, formerly Margaret Thatcher’s
One source said McDonald’s had ‘recognised the need to put its lobbying
on a more sophisticated basis’, rather than rely on the ‘old school
approach of dinners and high level contacts’.
Top of the list of issues the agency is likely to address is food
safety, with the BSE scare affecting confidence in all beef products.
Other issues include packaging and employment.
The appointment is said to be unrelated to the ongoing libel case in
which McDonald’s is suing two environmental campaigners, David Morris
and Helen Steel.