The fast-food giant, KFC, has kicked off a review of its pounds 9
million UK media account in what is likely to be the first client
fall-out from the impending global merger of Leo Burnett’s media
function with the MacManus Group’s MediaVest.
KFC’s media planning and buying is currently handled by MediaVest, but
Burnetts has the clashing McDonald’s media business on an international
basis, including the pounds 45 million UK business.
Four agencies have been shortlisted for the KFC prize. BMP Optimum,
Optimedia and Initiative Media will line up against Motive, a sister
company to Burnetts and so linked to the merged MediaVest/Burnetts
The agencies were being briefed by the Billett Consultancy last week and
pitches are expected before the end of the month. However, the review
has started at least a month before the arrival of KFC’s new marketing
director, John Prior, who joins from Burger King.
KFC is understood to be reluctant to move out of MediaVest but it
believes there is little option once the merged operation opens for
business in the UK at the beginning of next year.
The KFC brand has undergone something of a revival in recent years, with
a range of commercials starring celebrities such as Dani Behr and Tara
Although the planned merger throws up few client clashes, the other
major conflict is between MediaVest’s Mars and Walkers snack foods
business and Burnetts’ pounds 15 million United Biscuits account. UB is
also a Billett client.
Plans to merge MediaVest’s and Burnetts’ media (Campaign, 6 March) are
likely to come to fruition in the UK early next year. The two operations
are jointly pitching for the pounds 200 million Procter & Gamble media
account and are finalising the structure of the new company. A name for
the new global media company and a chief executive will soon be revealed
in the US.