McDonald's Advertising Cooperative hires Shift

BOSTON: The McDonald's Advertising Cooperative, which represents about 300 restaurants in the New England region, has hired Shift Communications as its AOR for PR and social media.

BOSTON: The McDonald's Advertising Cooperative, which represents about 300 restaurants in the New England region, has hired Shift Communications as its AOR for PR and social media.

A seven-person PR committee made up of McDonald's owners and operators from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont led the selection process, assisted by corporate representatives from the fast-food chain. The review process began in late August, with an initial list of more than 50 firms, said Robin Boorstein, chair of the cooperative's PR committee.

The group culled that initial list down to 22 agencies, then sent those firms an RFQ. Seven agencies of various sizes, from local to global players, were invited to pitch for the account.

In hiring Shift, Boorstein said the cooperative “was really impressed with the traditional PR ideas the agency brought to the table, and how they tied them into social media. Social media is a world where we feel we need to be in much more than we have been.”

Shift's Boston-based consumer lifestyle team will lead the account. The budget was not disclosed, but Todd Defren, principal of Shift, told PRWeek “it will be one of our top five accounts in terms of revenue.” Work on the account will begin January 1, 2012.

Incumbent Bishoff Communications, the organization's AOR for more than a decade, was not among the seven agencies that pitched. The account was valued at $400,000 annually when Bishoff won it in 1999.

Janey Bishoff, CEO of Bishoff Communications, said the firm is "extremely proud of the service we have provided to and the results we have achieved for the McDonald's Co-op over the past 12 years."

"I think change is very healthy after this length of time on both the agency and client side, and I wish all of the owner-operators, many of whom have become dear friends, much continued success," said Bishoff.

Boorstein declined to comment specifically about Bishoff Communications, but said of the decision to hold a review, “We needed to do some things differently. We didn't feel like we were being as effective anymore.”

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