Ogilvy & Mather is facing another threat to a major account as its
fast-food client, KFC, talks to Young & Rubicam about its international
KFC has appointed Y&R in New York to play a central strategic role and
is understood to have held discussions with Y&R executives about the
business outside the US, with talks also under way at a UK level.
KFC has been searching for a consistent UK creative strategy for some
time. It recently ditched its celebrity-led treatments which included
ads featuring Tara Palmer-Tomkinson and Tamara Beckwith, and culminated
with the ’mystery girl’ film last year. The latest strategy features an
animated Colonel Sanders.
Y&R dealt a body blow to O&M last year, taking over its lead status on
Ford of Europe. No-one at Y&R would comment on the KFC talks.
Richard Pinder, the managing director of O&M, said: ’I know nothing
about KFC having talks with another agency. We have a fantastic
relationship with them and have done for years.’
O&M won the UK KFC account in 1994 from Y&R, swiftly adding the business
in Canada, Mexico, Thailand, Singapore and Puerto Rico.
The latest creative rethink follows the appointment of a new UK
marketing director, John Prior, who joined the Tricon Restaurants-owned
chain last summer from Burger King, where he was marketing director.
Although the creative talks are international in scope, Prior is thought
to be involved. However, he would not comment on the story.
KFC is undergoing a brand repositioning campaign, which involves
reintroducing the Sanders character in its restaurant facias. It also
plans to increase the number of KFC outlets in the UK over the next two
A new media buying agency, Zenith, was appointed last autumn when KFC
reviewed its pounds 9 million UK media account amid merger talks between
the incumbent, MediaVest, and Leo Burnett, McDonald’s media agency.