McDonald's Restaurants (UK)

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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

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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Adbrands Weekly Update 18th May 2017: It's comparatively unusual for one ad to be banned or withdrawn in a week, let alone three. In the US, a grotesque Mother's Day spot by DDB Chicago for Mars-owned Skittles, was voluntarily withdrawn after provoking a sizeable backlash in social media for its poor taste.In the UK.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...

Adbrands Weekly Update 28th Jan 2016: It's the power of a good breakfast: McDonald's delivered its best US quarterly growth for almost four years as a result of the introduction of all-day breakfast. That change has been requested by customers for years but required significant logistical changes to allow the preparation of Egg McMuffins and other breakfast items alongside Big Macs and other all-day offers. It was worth it, as US 4Q same-store sales jumped 5.7%, well above all expectations. However, the rising dollar weighed heavily on results for the year as a whole, causing annual global revenues to tumble another 7% to $25.41bn. At constant rates they would have risen 3%. Net income fell 5% to $4.53bn, also as a result of currencies. The UK remains one of the group's single best-performing markets, having experienced none of the declines felt in the US. Local CEO Paul Pomroy reported that 4Q represented the chain's strongest ever quarter in the UK. Sales have grown for 39 consecutive quarters and recorded a "mid-single-digit" increase in the final three months compared to the prior year. Pomroy also announced the roll-out of table service and cooked-to-order gourmet burgers to around a third of the company's 1,250 British outlets.

Adbrands Weekly Update 26th Mar 2015: McDonald's UK chief executive Jill McDonald has resigned after five years in that role to head up bike and car accessories retailer Halfords. She replaces Matt Davies, who has joined Tesco as UK MD. Her successor at McD has yet to be appointed.

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