Burger King is shifting its U.S. media planning and buying assignment from Publicis Groupe’s Starcom to independent Horizon Media without a review, according to sources.
In the U.S. the fast-food chain spent over $300 million on ads in 2011 according to Kantar. The 2012 figure wasn’t immediately available.
Burger King has been quick to shift agencies on both the media and creative sides of the business in recent years.
Starcom had the account for a little over two years. The agency was also awarded the account without a formal review. Before Starcom was handed the assignment, WPP’s Mindshare handled buying and mcgarrybowen handled planning and creative.
In February Mother replaced mcgarrybowen as lead creative after just 18 months. Prior to mcgarrybowen, Crispin Porter + Bogusky handled media planning and was BK’s lead creative agency from 2004 to 2011.
Sources said they believed that price was a factor in the switch to Horizon, although it is understood that the client did not confirm that when it indicated that it was moving the business. In fact the client simply said it needed a change without providing a precise explanation, per sources.
But Starcom remains on the client roster in other markets. Earlier this year it was awarded media planning and buying duties for much of Europe. The
estimated $65 million European assignment covers UK, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Denmark, Sweden and Norway. That assignment did come after a formal review that began early 2013.
The agencies could not immediately be reached for comment.