McDonald's changing its media agency for first time in 20 years

In a battle of advertising giants, Publicis is poised to win McDonald's U.S. media account from Omnicom.


McDonald’s is consolidating responsibility for its estimated $1.6 billion national media buying and planning to Publicis Groupe’s Starcom as part of an effort to streamline its digital marketing strategy. Particular attention is being given to a tighter integration between paid and earned/owned media programs, which aligns with the way more consumers connect with marketing messages, the brand’s representatives told Adweek.

The move upends a two-decade partnership with Omnicom media shop OMD USA. Still, it’s not a complete break; OMD will continue to work on McDonald’s USA local media as well as some unspecified international markets, McDonald’s said.

McDonald’s shift in the handling of its media duties represents a major expansion of the brand’s existing work with Publicis. The national media buying and planning oversight is being added to Publicis’ management of customer data analytics and digital marketing across McDonald’s app, website and CRM channels.

McDonald’s plans to transition its media buying and planning to Starcom starting in January. The completion of the shift is expected by the end of Q1 2022, McDonald’s representatives said.

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