Mindshare plucks KFC media brief away from Blue 449

kfc2KFC has appointed Mindshare as its new UK media buying agency following a final pitch battle with Zenith to handle the business, which has been run by Blue 449 for over 15 years.

The review kicked off in September and has been handled by Ebiquity, with the7stars and Wavemaker involved at an earlier stage.

KFC UK & Ireland chief marketing officer Meg Farren praised the brand’s partnership with Blue449, insisting it “is something we are all incredibly grateful for”.

Publicis has revealed that Blue449, which this year lost chief executive Simon Davis (who eventually joined MSQ Partners) and co-founder Phil Georgiadis as well as clients WW (formerly Weight Watchers) and eBay, was being folded into Spark Foundry.

Nevertheless, Farren added: “[Our partnership] has been hugely successful and that it lasted over 15 years is testament to how well we have worked together. We can’t wait to work with Mindshare and are hopeful for an equally long and fruitful partnership.

“Mindshare demonstrated to us that they have the know-how and desire to help us continue reaching, engaging and, crucially, entertaining people. Mindshare’s strategy is aligned with our vision and their team was the best placed agency to help us navigate the changing media environment as we head into the next stage of our growth.”

The agency will now work closely with Mother, which handles the ad account, and Iris, which runs digital and customer engagement activity.

Mindshare UK chief executive Jem Lloyd-Williams said: “From the moment we received the brief, to chemistry, to pitch and then hearing that we won, we have wanted to work with KFC more and more. We are super excited about helping Meg, Jack and the team deliver ever better work in 2020 and beyond. We’re very proud to say we now work with KFC”.

Not that the brand’s tone of voice has always gone down well. Earlier this month, KFC’s attempt at humouring the nation with its “What the Cluck?” campaign was battered by the ad watchdog for causing offence.

The activity, devised by Mother, was an extension of an existing campaign but was the subject of 40 complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority, amid claims that the ad’s reference to an expletive was offensive and might be seen by children.

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