Burger King Adds Agencies; Arby's Hires New CMO*

  • January 12, 2012

Marketing teams and strategies continue to be very much in flux among major restaurant brands, with the latest developments being agency adds at Burger King and a new CMO at Arby's.

Burger King has added Mother, New York and Ogilvy affiliate agency David to its mix of U.S. agencies, and has given its kids' agency, Pitch, the abilit to add business beyond children's marketing, reports Advertising Age

The additions will not change BK's relationship with existing agency McGarryBowen, but no one agency will now be considered the "lead" agency. The agency changes are coming about six months after Alex Macedo, senior VP-North American marketing at Burger King, and Flavia Faugeres, global CMO, joined the company. 

Meanwhile, Arby's has hired Russ Klein -- a veteran of Burger King, 7-Eleven, Dr Pepper and 7-Up, as its new CMO. Arby's has seen its sales decline for some years now, although they improved last year.

Arby's CMO position had been vacant since last September. Last year, Wendy's/Arby's sold most of its Arby's stake to a private-equity group (retaining an 18.5% stake) and dropped Arby's from its name. 

While heading marketing at Burger King, Klein and agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky created provocative, often award-winning ads featuring the chain's mascot, "The King." That character recently has been dropped from BK's advertising, in favor of emphasis on the quality and taste of its food.

Klein told the Wall Street Journal that he was attracted to the Arby's post in part because its roast-beef sandwiches differentiate it from other QSRs, and that he has no immediate plans to change Arby's current advertising, from BBDO, which focuses on the tagline, "Arby's. It's Good Mood Food."  

"I am not entering a burning building -- there is some sales momentum," Klein told WSJ. "I am not going to come in and shoot up the town." 

* Editor's note: The story incorrectly referred to Denny's rather than Arby's in the headline and story when it was posted. We apologize for the error.

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