McDonald's creates European marketing and brand chief role

LONDON - McDonald's has promoted Pierre Woreczek to the newly created role of chief brand and strategy officer for Europe, as the fast food giant attempts to reverse a reported sales decline and negative publicity surrounding junk food in the region.

Woreczek, who is currently food strategy vice-president, will play a pivotal role in marketing decisions across Europe according to the fast food chain.

He will also head up the design studio and continue to lead the firm's European food studio, which he set up in 2003 to handle food and drink strategy, as well as product innovations.

McDonald's said the role will include assisting Denis Hennequin, who was appointed Europe president in the summer, in "leading the European marketing leadership team".

A spokeswoman for McDonald's said: "This will be a consumer-focused role looking at the brand and with a remit covering sponsorship and brand extensions."

Woreczek has worked in marketing and advertising for around 20 years, with roles at Jacobs Suchard and Cadbury Schweppes.

He has been with McDonald's for six years and was previously vice-president of marketing for France.

Last month, a damning report in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine suggested a link between McDonald's fast food restaurants and obesity in deprived areas in the UK. It said areas of high deprivation with a higher prevalence of obesity are more likely to be "exposed" to McDonald's outlets.

McDonald's has been busy for a number of years attempting to counter accusations that its food is unhealthy.

One of the most recent attempts was to give its iconic Ronald McDonald character a healthy lifestyle makeover in the summer. In an advertising campaign in the US he was seen playing a range of sports and juggling fruit and vegetables.

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