McDonald’s consolidates its account with DDB Sydney causing staff changes at VMLY&R

McDonald’s has consolidated its creative account with DDB Sydney, moving the digital and social responsibilities previously held by VMLY&R into the agency, Mumbrella can reveal.

In turn, Mumbrella understands VMLY&R Sydney has been forced into a round of redundancies and redeployments.

Mumbrella understands the VMLY&R’s McDonald’s account was worth $3m, and DDB will be hiring an additional 12 people to service it.

Mumbrella understand that DDB Sydney will be hiring 12 people to service the account

VMLY&R commented to Mumbrella that the agency will continue to work on projects for McDonald’s involving customer experience.

“VMLY&R confirms that McDonald’s will shift their social media work from the agency in 2020. We remain on their roster of agencies for special projects across CX, technology and innovation,” it said.

The statement provided to Mumbrella said that team members were being consulted about their futures, and that the senior leadership team was unaffected.

“VMLY&R Sydney is currently undertaking a review of resources. A number of team members are being consulted about future roles both within the organisation, and across WPP AUNZ’s other brands.

“The core leadership team remains unchanged. VMLY&R cannot comment further,” it said.

A McDonald’s spokesperson told Mumbrella the company enjoyed a productive relationship with VMLY&R.

“After reviewing the support we require from our external partners, we’ve made the decision to consolidate our creative and social agency support; expanding DDB’s remit to include the management of our social channels,” they said.

“We enjoyed a productive relationship with VMLY&R and thank them for the work they delivered during their partnership with us.”

Thelatest shake up follows a series of staffing changes for the agency since the departure of joint CEOs Pete Bosilkovski in May and Aden Hepburn in June last year, with Jon Bird taking over.

The earlier departures included regional operations director Jeremy de Villiers, head of strategy and innovation Dave Di Veroli, head of platforms and experiences Tim Fletcher, and managing partner Katie Dally. They were soon followed by chief growth officer Peter Collins, strategy director Bryan Wilmot, and head of people and culture Tara Jackson.

Another 11 staff members departed the Sydney office after that including regional CFO Rachel Naughton, regional head of retail Danny Lattouf, managing partner Miles Scott, experience director Jackson Alsop, design director Mark Berry, and group business director Ruth Hatch.

In September last year, Lucy Wilson was appointed as HR director for VMLY&R Australia and New Zealand. The agency has also brought on Kirsty Robinson as head of experience in Brisbane in August, and Craig Page as head of planning on the Defence Force Recruiting account in June.

VLMY&R Brisbane then won the creative account for the Queensland Government’s public transport division Translink in October.

VMLY&R Melbourne hired Shane Geffen as associate creative director in December and retained the creative account for Monash University.

DDB Sydney has worked on McDonald’s creative account for almost 50 years.

DDB Sydney has been contacted for comment.


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