McDonald's, Coke Stoke '03 Media Account Shifts

After a relative lull, media account turnover has suddenly shifted into high gear with two major reassignments: the massive planning and buying consolidations of Coca-Cola Co.'s account at Starcom MediaVest Group and McDonald's Corp.'s at OMD.

In fact, the inclusion of Coca-Cola's $350 million consolidation at SMG in November, was enough to push total media account turnover to $829 million for the month, making it one of the most active this year, according to the November MAP Barometer released Monday by MediaAnalysisPlus.

But even with Monday's announcement of McDonald's $1 billion-plus consolidation at OMD, December is not likely to contribute enough media billings turnover to compete with 2002's record volatility.

McDonald's on Monday said it planned to consolidate its system wide media strategy, planning and buying at OMD. The account had been split with Publicis' Starcom MediaVest unit.

McDonald's executive vice president-global chief marketing officer Larry Light implied the move was made to improve strategy, effectiveness and efficiency, as well as "substantial cost savings to local McDonald's markets worldwide.



He said McDonald's franchisees would continue to make local ad buying decisions.

"No matter what happens in December - and there are some big reviews in the works - this year won't come close to the pace we saw last year," predicts Jim Surmanek, Chief Executive Officer of MAP. "We'll probably be at least $2 billion below last year when all is said and done."

Through the first 11 months of 2003, media account turnover tallied $5.78 billion versus $8.37 billion during the same period last year.

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