Crispin Porter & Bogusky firing leaves Burger King's black targeted advertising in limbo

From Target Market News
Burger King, the nation's second largest quick service restaurant chain, announced on Friday that it had severed ties with its general marketing advertising agency, Crispin Porter & Bogusky after seven years.

A jointly released statement by both parties said:

"Burger King Corp. and Crispin Porter & Bogusky have enjoyed a tremendously successful relationship over the past seven and a half years. During that time, our creative partnership resulted in countless innovative and engaging campaigns for the BK brand. We are incredibly proud of all that we have accomplished together, but have mutually decided that now is the right time to part ways. We are fans of each others' work and wish each other much success in the future."

The firing comes seven months after Burger King terminated its relationship with both its African-American and Hispanic ad agencies, UniWorld Group and LatinWorks. The company said it intended African-American ads to be created by Wunderman, a WPP agency, and Hispanic work would be done by Crispin.

"We felt the right decision for Burger King is to address all our consumers as a whole, instead of taking a segmented approach," Leo Leon, vice president for marketing impact at the Burger King North American operations was quoted as saying.

African-Americans spend an estimated $1.1 billion annually at Burger King.

While Burger King has changed its general market advertising assignment numerous times over the years, UniWorld Group had been the one constant in the fast food chain's marketing efforts. For the past 25 years, UniWorld has been its only African-American ad shop, and during one period when the chain changed agency assignments, UWG handled the general market advertising as well for more than a year.

Ad spending by Burger King in African-American targeted media has been declining. In 2008, according to industry statistics, it spent $8.7 million in black targeted media. A year later, that figure dropped 27% to $6.2 million.

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