NEW YORK - Burger King is in discussions with Weber Shandwick Worldwide (WSW) to become the fast food company's first PR agency of record in institutional memory.
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 said that BK had no plans to take on an agency of record.
Now both sides have 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 Fleishman-Hillard. "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 Heimann. "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 partner Nickelodeon.
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