BEIJING: McDonald’s has consolidated its China PR business with Weber Shandwick, following five-year incumbent Ketchum Newscan’s resignation from the business.
Ketchum’s decision to resign follows a review last year which saw it relinquish its full-service role on the account.
At the time, McDonald’s chose to split the business, with Ketchum retaining corporate and internal comms and Weber Shandwick bagging the consumer marketing component.
However, Ketchum chose to resign its diminished role during the summer, with Weber Shandwick stepping in last month to take control of the business.
“Ketchum resigned from the McDonald’s account at the end of July after wrapping up the extremely successful ‘20th Anniversary Toy Campaign’ on (social networking site) Douban,” said Ketchum Beijing GM Nick Wheeler, who led the account at the agency. “We did so in order to focus our efforts on other opportunities and ensure that our resources were being allocated most efficiently across our other key clients.”
It is understood that internal restructuring of McDonald’s China’s marketing and communications teams ultimately led to Ketchum’s departure. The fastfood giant’s decision to split corporate and consumer, said one source, meant that Ketchum’s resignation was “only a matter of time”.
McDonald’s China communications director Vivian Zhang confirmed that Weber Shandwick is now supporting the brand for both corporate and marcomms.
Ketchum won the McDonald’s China business in 2004, and has since played a prominent role in some of the brand’s key marketing successes in the country.