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.
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Historical profile information for McDonald's UK
Adbrands Social Media 27th Jun 2018: "Bold Move". We're feeling there's more that could have been done with the concept behind Leo Burnett London's latest for McDonald's. The first 20 seconds are just great; a relationship summed up with style and feeling, then capped with a sticky dilemma. What do you do when you unexpectedly run into someone you used to go out with? Order the McDonald's Fiery Buffalo Chicken Wrap, isn't the answer that most readily comes to mind, but it doesn't qualify for bathos humour either.
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.
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