PHILADELPHIA: McDonald’s Philadelphia-area franchisees last week made their long-awaited choice of a lead agency, hiring The Tierney Group to head their regional PR.
PHILADELPHIA: McDonald’s Philadelphia-area franchisees last week
made their long-awaited choice of a lead agency, hiring The Tierney
Group to head their regional PR.
The appointment, effective on January 1, ends the group’s relationship
with Alta Communications, which until earlier this year had been
Golin/Harris’ Philly outpost.
The McDonald’s Restaurant Association of the Greater Delaware and Lehigh
Valley, which had been with Golin/Alta for seven years, looked at six
agencies but quickly narrowed the search to Alta and Tierney. While
president Brian Tierney would not discuss the dollar value of the
assignment, a McDonald’s official said fees would likely be in the
high-six-figures-per-year range (PRWeek, Nov. 1). The McDonald’s
business becomes Tierney’s biggest PR account.
Despite his previous work with McDonald’s during his G/H tenure in the
1980s, Tierney claimed that he ’never reached out’ to lure the business
away from Alta. Until March, his firm represented a local convenience
store chain with a significant sandwich business, an account that would
have conflicted with any work he could have done for the fast-food
The conflict was resolved when the chain took its PR in-house.
G/H CEO Rich Jernstedt expressed surprise at the franchisees’
’I don’t know what they were looking for or why they made the change,’
he said. ’I do know that (Alta chief) Kate Allison and her team did
excellent work.’ Allison did not return calls for comment, but losing
the account - reportedly one of the agency’s biggest - during its first
year of independence can’t be a promising sign.
Tierney boasts more than 50 PR staffers and an estimated dollars 6.7
million in 1999 revenues. While Tierney brings in roughly dollars 25
million per year in advertising revenues, it will not be involved in any
McDonald’s ad decisions.