McDonald's Restaurants is staging a mega-pitch for its public
affairs account, inviting almost every established public affairs firm
to present credentials.
Eight lobbying shops have been singled out by corporate affairs director
Mike Love and head of communications Eddie Bensilum for the pounds
The Communication Group, the incumbent, faces a tough battle to keep the
account it has held since becoming the fast food chain's first external
PA consultancy in 1996.
TCG has already survived one review and pitch process in 1999, when the
agency's then recently departed MD Peter Bingle was widely tipped to
take the client with him to GPC.
That expectation was not fulfilled, and GPC, now under the management of
industry veteran Kevin Bell, is not on the shortlist this time
Those which are include Luther Pendragon and Golin/Harris Ludgate, both
agencies which have done project work for the world's largest burger
chain in recent years.
APCO, which was understood to have come a close second to TCG in the
1999 repitch, is also on the list, as are Weber Shandwick Worldwide,
Bell Pottinger Public Affairs, Westminster Strategy and DLA
Both Brunswick and PoliticsDirect.com - whose founders John Arnold and
David Beamer worked on McDonald's' account during their time at TCG
until 1999 - are thought to have been involved at an earlier stage in
the selection process.