Crispin Porter and Burger King split


The Burger King account, worth $300 mil. annually in major measured media, has left Crispin, reports AdWeek. Crispin Porter + Bogusky has been their agency of record for seven years, taking over the account in 2004 in a shift from WPP Group’s Young & Rubicam. CP+B launched the subservient chicken with the Barbarian Group had people dump their facebook friends for a Whopper, discontinued the whopper - just to see how people would react (they freaked out). They launched BK perfumes, sung the virtues of ranch dressing, and launched the BK King mask. We'll miss those kooky hijinks.

In a statement this morning, the marketer and agency noted their past “innovative and engaging” campaigns, which ranged from the interactive "Subservient Chicken" to ads featuring a character wearing a Burger King mask. The statement offered no explanation for the split.

Burger King picked up the One Show Client of the Year award in 2008.

More at Adage

The split follows major churn in the marketing suite at Burger King. In February the chain announced the departure of Exec VP-Global Chief Marketing Officer Natalia Franco, only nine months after she joined the fast feeder. Her predecessor, Russ Klein, took a leave of absence in September 2009, and the company confirmed his departure in November.
The news about Ms. Franco came in conjunction with changes to the company's global brand management and operations, as well as to its North American marketing structure. Burger King has aligned the company's global brand marketing and global operations teams to create a single function. Burger King's North American CMO, Mike Kappitt, who reported to Ms. Franco, left the company in December.
Burger King has been pulling back on its marketing budget slightly over the past three years; according to Kantar Media, it spent $301 million on domestic measured media in 2010, down from $308 million in 2009 and $327 million in 2008.
It wasn't immediately clear what impact the end of Burger King's partnership with its lead creative shop will have on its relationships with other agencies on its roster, such as WPP's Wunderman and independent Edelman.

about the author

Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm.

Comments (6)

  • Dabitch's picture

    Here's some juice Alex Bogusky posts "The King is dead on his posterous, removing all doubt on who fired whom when Miller and CP+B split back in the day.

    We had a rule that worked well: if the partners no longer wanted to work on a piece of business then we felt like we could not ask other people to work on it. When you would hit that moment, you knew you needed to resign the account. This came with a feeling of failure, but also a responsibility to protect the agency culture. We resigned several accounts over the years but none bigger than Miller Brewing. And what a shit storm that was. The client was beyond angry, ballistic, and although we sent out a release explaining our decision they decided to claim they had fired us. Whatever. People are free to say whatever they need to, to keep their Board of Directors happy, I suppose. But what was frustrating and somewhat telling was the fact that the advertising trade press reported it that way, even though they knew the truth because they had been made privy to the decision prior to the announcement.

    This is also why he reckons that CP+B asked BK to leave, and not the other way around.

    Mar 21, 2011
  • fairuse's picture

    And now a word from consumer-land.

    OK, I know how "he said, she said" works and how corporate will say anything to cover their asses at stockholder meetings. Furthermore, there seems to be a situation in BK marketing that is obviously above my pay grade. What I mean is; did BK lose ground to McD, did Wendy's build a homestead on BK's back 40 or is it just a case of BK having panic attack due to lower revenue in a down cycle? I don't know these things, I know what I see on prime time TV.

    Just to be clear, Burger King has been my fast food of choice followed by Wendy's with McDonald's holding last place for all the "in the middle" stores. So, advertising is not going to get me to change venue as much as it will get me to try a new menu item. That is where TV spots work well but may fail due to personal preference, i.e., the ranch ad is unusually entertaining but I hate the favor of ranch.

    The King Face Mask series I paid attention to for no other reason but to see what he was going to do. What did I think about it when I saw the first one? That is goofy. Of course I said, "What's up with the mask thing?" when burgers were the topic. It grew on me but at this date it is a bit thin.

    So, that is the short version of how well the advertising worked on an existing customer and fan of Burger King. If anybody got fired, and the story indicates that, it was BK. I would say (without having the data) that reducing the amount spent on advertising was not the reason but creative difference was.

    My 2-cents worth,

    Mar 22, 2011
  • Dabitch's picture

    CP+B canned Miller! ba-dum-tish!

    Mar 21, 2011
  • Dabitch's picture

    I'm a McDonald's person (if we must eat fast food), and I swear it has nothing to do with the Fisher Price© Drive-in McDonald's toy I had as a kid, nu-uh. :P

    I think the problem here was, that no matter how much lipstick CP+B put on that pig, BK has a very real problem with consistence in their outlets that needs to be dealt with. At least around these parts, where it's anyones guess if you're going to get a burger that's edible or a grilled slice of shoe. (Not that McD's is a high art of culinary genius, but it's the same all the time, pretty much everywhere.)

    Mar 22, 2011

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