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McDonald's Technology

McDonald's UK CEO: 'We can't ever be ahead of the curve when it comes to our media strategy'


By Rebecca Stewart, Trends Editor

March 14, 2018 | 3 min read

Where other big name brands are grappling with how to streamline the digital supply chain having dived head first into programmatic, McDonald's UK chief executive Paul Pomroy has explained why the food giant is taking it slow when it comes to experimenting with new media buys.

Still from '50 years' of big mac ad showing mcdonald's billboard

Paul Pomroy has explained why the food giant takes it slow when it comes to experimenting with new media buys

Noting how McDonald's has only just introduced self-order kiosks into its restaurants over the past few years, while airlines and supermarkets have had them for almost a decade, Pomroy said: "We need to be fast followers of trends but we can't ever be ahead of the curve."

He added: "It's the same on the media strategy. We can't be at the cutting edge of stuff, we need to make sure that our core customer base is going to hear us."

While McDonald's does invest heavily in social and digital activations on the likes of YouTube and Snapchat, Pomroy said the advertiser is acutely aware that its broad appeal means a big part of its customer base still watches traditional TV,

"The younger generation are very much into digital and that's their whole scene," he mused, "but a lot of our customers still watch Coronation Street as their staple."

​Speaking during a panel at an Oystercatchers club event, Pomroy said that the fast-food chain is also cautious about going too fast and being "romanced" by glitzy digital fixes because it believes its creative to be as important as the medium it is served in.

Pointing to the brand's ongoing Good To Know myth-busting campaign which aims to build up trust, he said "content is just as important as the channel for us".

Pomroy's unostentatious take on digital investment comes amid a major push from some of the world's biggest advertisers, including P&G and Unilever, to clean up the digital supply chain and bring an end to "wasted" media spend.

As well as touching on why McDonald's UK still funnels a lot of investment into TV, Pomroy said advertisers were "very quick to criticise [agency] structures," when asked about whether there were too many account managers working within agencies; something P&G's top marketer Marc Pritchard has been extremely vocal about.

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