Yum! Restaurants Canada announced today that MediaCom Canada is taking on the company’s $25-million traditional and digital media planning and buying duties.
Media buying had been handled by ZenithOptimedia.
The assignment switch is effective immediately and will be managed out of MediaCom’s Toronto and Montreal offices.
As owner of the KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell brands in Canada, Yum awarded its business to MediaCom after a 12-week search.
“We did a fairly disciplined review,” Dan Howe, Yum chief marketing officer, told Marketing. The company met with eight agencies in January for a preliminary discussion, then narrowed the field down to five undisclosed finalists that presented traditional and digital work, and also shared costs.
The agencies were ranked against Yum’s core evaluation criteria: cost, cultural fit, planning capabilities and innovation capabilities.
“For each of those four, MediaCom was on top,” said Howe, adding that he was impressed with their approach and drive to deliver against both traditional and new media.
Yum has seen significant change over the last year. Howe stepped in about 14 months ago, Grip Ltd. was brought onboard as creative agency last March, and Howe said about nine new marketing people have been hired. Also, Strategic Objectives has been brought on as PR agency, and OSL Marketing has been brought on as below-the-line and digital agency.
Media expert Aileen Grant had previously managed Yum’s media planning. She is leaving Unified Purchasing Group of Canada (a cooperative owned by Yum franchisees) and will not be replaced.
“We made the strategic decision to go from an in-house media planning organization to a more traditional outsourced media planning relationship,” said Howe.