McDonald’s has put its core PR business, including media relations,
issues management and internal communications, up for pitch.
Scope Ketchum Communications, the incumbent agency which came to the end
of its contract last week, will not re-bid for the business, worth up to
Ketchum PR, which bought Scope last month (PR Week, 13 December),
already works for Wendy’s, a rival burger chain to McDonald’s.
The McDonald’s business will either be split into individual contracts
and farmed out to specialist agencies or go to a single PR company. Mike
Love, McDonald’s director of communications is seeing pitches from a
small number of full service and specialist agencies this week. He will
make a decision by the end of January.
Commenting on the change Love said: ’We reviewed our agency support six
months ago as part of an annual review. As a result we felt Scope had
given us excellent professional support over the last five years but our
requirements were changing.’
Love, who spends pounds 400,000 a year on external PR suppliers, added
that the company was now considering looking at ’areas of expertise’
The possible splitting of the brief follows on from the decision by
McDonald’s to siphon off its employee publication McNews to Dewe
Rogerson Corporate Publishing in 1995.
It also handed a public affairs brief to The Communications Group last
Two full time and three part time staff managed the account at Scope
Ketchum. The brief covered media relations, corporate communications,
issues management, marketing support, community relations and sports
McDonald’s, which runs an in-house team of 12 on a budget of pounds 3.2
million, gained positive coverage over its plans to create an estimated
600 new jobs last week. However the company faces a tough PR challenge
when the verdict in the high-profile McLibel trial is delivered this