MIAMI: Burger King is in discussions with Weber Shandwick Worldwide
(WSW) to become the fast food company's first agency of record in
In April of this year, the number-two hamburger chain hired Christopher
Clouser as its first global marketing officer since 1996. At the time,
VP of corporate communications Rob Doughty told PRWeek that BK had no
plans to take on an agency of record. But both sides have now confirmed
that they have been working together on a project basis for the past
month, and are considering strengthening their relationship. BK
executives said they have called off talks with the Miami office of
"Our intention eventually is to use Weber Shandwick globally," said
Doughty of WSW, which currently handles only US assignments.
Three WSW offices and eight to 10 staffers are working on various BK
projects. Gail Heimann, president of global consumer marketing, heads
the account from New York. The Miami WSW office, Weber RBB, handles
local press, and WSW's Chicago office works on product launches, which
Doughty said will be plentiful over the next few months.
"Burger King is doing a full-court press on a lot of fronts," said
"It could potentially be a big assignment, but it's something being
served up on a project-by-project basis right now."
So far, WSW has helped BK announce new alliances with DreamWorks and the
Harlem Globetrotters, as well as an enhanced alliance with longtime
Doughty promised more announcements to come.
"We're going to have a lot of news going forward," said Doughty. "We've
got excellent leadership, and they're bringing in very innovative
thinking about treating this brand as the very powerful brand it is. We
decided to bring Weber Shandwick into the fold and use them."
Some of the company's announcements have been tweaked to tie into
current events. For example, the multi-year Globetrotters deal now has a
charitable component. As announced last week, the team will donate a
dollar per mile traveled to the Red Cross Liberty campaign during the
200-plus-city tour kicking off this fall. BK will match the $100,000 contribution.