McDonald's holds major PA pitch

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

100,000 account.



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

around.



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

Upstream.



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.



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