McDonald's Names Tribal DDB as Lead Interactive Agency

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McDonald's Corp. has named Tribal DDB Worldwide, Chicago, as its interactive agency of record, strengthening a 30-year advertising relationship between the agency's DDB Worldwide parent and the restaurant chain.

At least three undisclosed agencies pitched for the AOR business, whose budget was not disclosed. There was no incumbent, although McDonald's will continue to work with a couple of shops on interactive work.

"We have been working with them on projects for the last seven months on consulting and marketing assignments, and they just decided to work with us as lead agency to ensure a focus across all their digital efforts," said Matt Freeman, CEO of North America for Tribal DDB Worldwide, New York.

Overseas, the agency will gain the same lead interactive agency status for McDonald's in Germany, Australia and Denmark.

DDB Worldwide first handled advertising responsibilities for McDonald's in 1971. It was named global lead agency in 1997.

Founded in August as DDB Worldwide's interactive arm, Tribal DDB has 21 offices in 15 markets worldwide. The firm has clients like Unilever, ExxonMobil, Vodafone, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., Clorox Co., Volkswagen, Microsoft Corp., Anheuser-Busch and PepsiCo.

The McDonald's announcement comes on the heels of a round of layoffs - 5 percent of the agency's worldwide staff lost jobs - at Tribal DDB, a cost-cutting measure now in vogue with interactive agencies under pressure to perform.

In the United States, Tribal DDB will offer McDonald's consulting and marketing technology services across all digital platforms, including the Internet, wireless, interactive television, in-car, in-flight and other emerging platforms.

"The brief really is to extend the McDonald's brand of business into the digital world in a consistent and profitable manner and to deepen their relationship with customers across all relevant digital platforms," Freeman said.

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