Many of us have been there – it’s called the talk. “I think we should see other people.”
According to AgencySpy, that conversation happened between McDonald’s and AOR We Are Unlimited. However, it seems like it was planned. The agency which was formed by Omnicom in 2017 after DDB bested Leo Burnett in a creative shootout, is no longer obliged to work exclusively with the fast food giant.
The online advertising blog acquired some semi-confidential intel that went something like this:
“…at an unspecified point this year, We Are Unlimited “will be able to pursue new business opportunities,” meaning work that falls outside the scope of the McDonald’s brand.
WAU, which is comprised of talent from DDB as well as Annalect, sparks & honey and Critical Mass, can pitch for new business unrelated to its founding client. It will then no longer be a “dedicated” agency.”
The story goes onto say that an insider source has said, “the scope of work is smaller now than in 2018 and indicated that the exclusive nature of the contract between the two parties may have expired after two years.
A McDonald’s spokesperson told AS “there is no change to McDonald’s and WAU’s relationship,” which she described as “strong.” We Are Unlimited declined to comment, and representatives for DDB and Omnicom did not respond to related emails.
This falls in line with other moves McDonald’s made near the end of last year.
Last fall, McDonald’s also assigned lead creative duties on its McCafe/donut sticks assignment to TBWA\Chiat\Day L.A. after several rounds with the WAU team. There is also currently a competition between the two shops regarding an assignment that focuses on another big assignment.
At the time, a client rep told AgencySpy, “Our model and agreement provides the flexibility to tap additional resources when needed,” with a key qualifier being that all the work stays within the Omnicom family.
The source also said that Omnicom has begun moving talent around in Chicago to service other key accounts, primarily U.S. Army, which went to Windy City-led Team DDB in November.
The shift does not affect any of McDonald’s other agencies such as Burrell, Alma and IW Group.