KFC talks pose new threat to O&M

Ogilvy & Mather is facing another threat to a major account as its fast-food client, KFC, talks to Young & Rubicam about its international creative business.

Ogilvy & Mather is facing another threat to a major account as its

fast-food client, KFC, talks to Young & Rubicam about its international

creative business.



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

years.



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.



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