Lowe under threat from Burger King rethink

Lowe Lintas is on alert following the news that the fast-food chain

Burger King has entered talks with Agency Insight about its £11

million UK above-the-line account.



Lowe has reportedly been handed one last brief for an advertising

campaign and if this proves unsuccessful, the account will formally go

up for pitch.



The exploratory talks are being run by the Burger King marketing

director, Philip Almond.



However, the fast-food company has denied that such a review is taking

place.



Rumours have been circulating regarding Lowe's grip on the UK account

since the agency lost Burger King's £280 million US task to fellow

IPG network McCann-Erickson Worldwide in January this year.



The loss of the UK advertising account was said to have been narrowly

averted by the intervention of the then chief executive of the London

office, Paul Hammersley.



Since then, Hammersley has relocated to New York to run Lowe Lintas &

Partners North America.



In April, Burger King announced that it was considering a substantial

shake-up of its international marketing operations following the

appointment of Chris Clouser to the post of global chief marketing

officer and executive vice-president.



The restructuring operation aimed to bring about more centralised

marketing operations, which at the time it was thought could lead to ads

being brought to the UK from the US. McCann, because of its ties with

the advertiser in the US, is a strong contender for the UK business.



Recent advertising for Burger King has highlighted the chain's revamped

"Chicken Flamer" sandwich in a bid to remind customers that Burger King

offers foodstuffs other than beefburgers.



The ad, designed to counter reduced consumer confidence in beef, used

the strapline of "it's all about the taste", which is meant to reinforce

Burger King's emphasis on its products rather than promotional gimmicks.