McDonald's Restaurants : advertising & marketing assignments

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The UK is one of US food giant McDonald's' key territories, but it faced several challenges from the late 1990s to mid 2000s. Inevitably the brand dominates the local restaurant market, but it struggled for several years to adjust to consumer concerns over unhealthy eating. Those problems appeared to have been resolved in the mid-2000s and in 2007, McDonald's UK reported its highest sales for more than a decade. That improvement has continued since then. For a time the group also dabbled in other brand chains. It acquired a minority stake in much admired British sandwich chain Pret a Manger in 2001, but sold those shares sold in 2008.

Selected McDonald's UK advertising

Which agencies handle marketing for McDonald's? Find out more from Adbrands Account Assignments

Who are the competitors of McDonald's? See Restaurants & Bars Sector index for other companies

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Adbrands Company Profiles provide a detailed analysis of the history and current operations of leading advertisers, agencies and brands worldwide, and include a critical summary which identifies key strengths and weaknesses. Adbrands Account Assignments tracks account management for the world's leading brands and companies, including details of which advertising agency handles which accounts in which countries for major markets. The Adbrands Company Profile of McDonald's UK summarises the company's history and current operations and also contains the following brand links:

McDonald's UK website



Recent stories from Adbrands Weekly Update:

Adbrands Weekly Update 8th Mar 2018: McDonald's promoted UK chief marketing officer Alistair Macrow to a new role as CMO, high growth markets. These are eight important countries including China, Italy, Poland, Russia, South Korea and Spain. Emily Somers, VP, marketing & food development, becomes top marketer in the UK.

Adbrands Weekly Update 15th Feb 2018: Ads of the Week: "The Flat White Mystery". One of the great mysteries of modern life is why coffee connoisseurs make it so easy for other people to make fun of them. Leo Burnett London returns to fertile ground in its latest pisstake of barista culture for McDonald's McCafe. This time, Burnett only throws a glancing punch at the pretentiousness of the culture, and instead skewers the self-important sloganeering. It's just coffee with milk, mate, not rocket science. 

Adbrands Weekly Update 8th Feb 2018: Ads of the Week: "First Time". Take a trip down memory lane with Leo Burnett London's retro campaign for McDonald's to introduce Mac Jr and the Grand Big Mac to the UK in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the original Big Mac. Millennials will be horrified, of course, but we Gen Xers can sigh with... well, perhaps not so much delicious nostalgia, but the sheer embarrassment of it. Did we really dress, and talk and behave like that?!? Dear oh dear oh dear. What a foreign country 1970s Britain looks like to us now.

Adbrands Weekly Update 18th May 2017: It's comparatively unusual for one ad to be banned or withdrawn in a week, let alone three. In the US, a grotesque Mother's Day spot by DDB Chicago for Mars-owned Skittles, was voluntarily withdrawn after provoking a sizeable backlash in social media for its poor taste.In the UK. McDonald's and Leo Burnett London pulled a rather more heartfelt mother and son spot in which a boy asks his mother about his deceased father, hoping to find similarities between them. In most ways, though, it seems he is completely different, apart from their shared love of the Fillet-O-Fish burger. (And almost no one in their right mind loves that monstrosity). It had attracted considerable comment online for exploiting bereavement for commercial purposes. More dramatic perhaps was the ASA decision to actually ban Grey London's ad campaign for Volvo's Life Paint, a double Cannes Grand Prix winner in 2015. The spray paint makes clothing reflective in car headlights, but the ad suggested that it had a similar effect on the frame of bicycles. In fact, a different product was used on the bike shown in the ad.

Adbrands Weekly Update 23rd Feb 2017: Ads Of The Week: "Designer Coffee". Let's start this week with a hilariously accurate skewering of upscale coffee shops from Leo Burnett London for McDonald's. We love posh coffee ourselves, but you can't deny that the whole barista thing has got just a little out of control. McDonald's aim to tear all that down, and in all honesty we have to admit their coffee is really rather good. Only problem is drinking it through the mask we have to wear so none of our hipster friends see us in there buying it... 

Adbrands Weekly Update 24th Nov 2016: Ads Of The Week: "The Doll". We said last week that we wouldn't be featuring any further seasonal ads, but (with apologies to Michael Corleone), just when we thought we were out, they pull us back in... We don't remember McDonald's running a Christmas special in the UK before, but that seasonal ad fever has clearly spread to the Golden Arches too. Leo Burnett London's spots for the fast feeder are always among their best work, and this time they've knocked one out of the park. It's lovely; far more subtle and emotionally delicate than you might expect from McDonald's usual blokey-jokey, man-in-the-street campaigns. Juliette is a charming creation; though what she sees in Meteor Mike, we have no idea...

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