McDonald’s finds its new CMO in former DDB exec Chris Brown

McDonald’s search for a local chief marketing officer is over, with former CEO of DDB Group Australia, Chris Brown, moving into the role in December.

Brown will be familiar with the McDonald’s business, having spent 12 years with DDB Group in Australia and 21 years with the agency brand overall. Locally, DDB has worked with McDonald’s for almost 50 years.

Former DDB exec Chris Brown has made the jump to McDonald’s

Also holding the title of senior vice president, it is Brown’s first client-side role and marks his return to Australia from New York, where he moved in 2014 to become DDB New York’s president and CEO. From there he joined R/GA in 2019 as its senior vice president and group managing director.

In his time at R/GA, Brown worked with clients including Samsung, Shopify, American Express and Johnson & Johnson, delivering digital services, experience design and innovation.

“Having led award-winning agencies, campaigns and teams across the globe, Chris brings extensive leadership and commercial experience to the McDonald’s system,” said McDonald’s Australia chief executive officer Andrew Gregory.

“Chris will play a critical role in driving and delivering our marketing vision for our 2022 Way Forward Plan, while working closely with our franchisee community and media partners to grow the McDonald’s brand in a rapidly changing marketplace.”

Brown takes over from Jenni Dill, who took on the CMO role at Arnott’s in July.

Brown spoke highly of McDonald’s presence in Australia.

“I am very excited to be joining Andrew and team and to be coming back to Australia for this role. McDonald’s is an iconic and trusted brand in Australia with a commitment to improve the customer experience and make a fundamental contribution to the country as both a major employer and provider of good quality food and services,” he said.

“There is also a track record of innovation and creativity and I am looking forward to working with everyone at McDonald’s and our partners to deliver strong brand and business outcomes.”

Most recently, McDonald’s marked the launch of its new chicken menu, releasing a heartfelt campaign by DDB Sydney that sent a message about staying connected with family.

Recent changes to McDonald’s marketing has also included the consolidation of its accounts, assigning DDB Sydney to its digital and social responsibilities that once sat with VMLY&R.

R/GA has been contacted for comment on Brown’s departure.


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