The fast-food chain has approached agencies directly to invite them to pitch for the business. It is understood that Burger King wants to create a fresh UK campaign that could run as early as February, although the review could form part of a wider EMEA agency realignment.
The incumbent is CHI & Partners, which picked up the UK and Ireland account in August 2011 after Burger King’s split with its previous agency of record for five years, Crispin Porter & Bogusky.
CHI’s debut TV ad for the brand, "wolfman", broke in April 2012 and featured a woman watching with interest as her boyfriend developed lupine features while enjoying a Burger King product. It replaced CP&B’s critically panned "the king" work, which saw a character dressed as a king playing a pipe and leading people through the streets of London.
The review coincides with the announcement this week that Burger King was parting ways with its US lead shop, Mother New York, with which it has worked for two years. The latest US ad was by the Californian agency Pitch.
After splitting with CP&B, Burger King initially hired Mcgarrybowen in the US in June 2011. It then decided to work with a roster of agencies including the Ogilvy & Mather offshoot David before choosing Mother, which created an ad in September 2013 starring David Beckham.
In June 2013, Burger King moved its £40 million European media account from its long-standing incumbent, Initiative, to Starcom.
In April 2012, it held a review of its direct marketing account but retained DLKW Lowe’s specialist division Open to handle the business.
Executives at Burger King and CHI declined to comment.