Burger King reviews creative and media accounts as RBI overhaul continues


Diving brief:

  • Burger King US has submitted its creative and media accounts for review, according to details emailed to Marketing Dive. Respective incumbents David and Horizon have been invited to join the RFP.
  • Additionally, sister brands of Restaurant Brands International (RBI), Popeyes US and Tim Hortons US, which have also worked with Horizon, will seek a new official media agency.
  • Burger King could be considering leaving David, an agency that has produced countless memorable, award-winning campaigns that haven’t always translated into better business results. The criticisms come as RBI has seen a string of marketing executive departures in its portfolio.

Overview of the dive:

Burger King subjects its creative and media accounts to scrutiny is the latest shake-up for a marketer who hasn’t always been able to turn creative campaigns into sales. Since appointing David as its lead global agency in 2014, Burger King has been known for its spirited and often controversial campaigns that generate headlines with an approach called “hackvertising”. But while the brand and creative agency have won awards – including those for seven campaigns at last year’s Cannes Lions and both Advertiser and Agency of the Year at last year’s Clio Awards – Burger King (and its sister brands) struggled to grow on a comparable store basis. sales and overcoming the challenges brought on by the pandemic.

The agency’s creative review of Burger King, as well as U.S. media accounts for Burger King, Popeyes and Tim Hortons, continues an advertising industry-wide trend that has been the subject of of major account reviews over the past two years as brands respond to changing consumer priorities. Coca-Cola and Unilever were among the top marketers to complete their reviews in 2021, with marketers like AB InBev looking to wrap up the reviews this year.

For Burger King, the agency’s notices follow nearly a year of marketing leadership shakeups. Fernando Machado, the longtime Burger King executive, left RBI in April 2021 after more than a year as the company’s global CMO. The chain’s North American marketing director Ellie Doty left the company in November 2021 after joining in June 2020, while sister brand Popeyes saw marketing director Bruno Cardinali step down last month. The executive and agency shakeup resembled that of Popeyes competitor KFC, which parted ways with Wieden+Kennedy this year — despite years of inception — after hiring a new CMO.

In the third quarter of 2021, Burger King reported system-wide comparable sales of 7.9%, weighed down by a 1.6% decline in comparable sales in the United States. Meanwhile, rival McDonald’s comparable sales rose 12.7% globally, with a 9.6% increase in the United States. RBI will release its results for the full year and the fourth quarter of 2021 on February 15.

“As BK continues to evolve its efforts to achieve world-class relevance with today’s customers, an in-depth review of key aspects of the business will take place,” a Burger King spokesperson said in comments by e-mail.


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