McDonald’s US doubles ad dollars to diverse-owned firms


McDonald’s has today set in motion bold new investments to further reflect its diverse customers, crew members and communities in its marketing in the US.

Over the next four years, McDonald’s US and its owner/operators are accelerating the allocation of advertising dollars to diverse-owned media companies, production houses and content creators. McDonald’s total investment in diverse-owned partners – including Black, Hispanic, Asian Pacific American, Women and LGBTQ-owned platforms – will more than double, moving from 4% to 10% of national advertising spend between 2021 and 2024. Spend with Black-owned properties, specifically, will increase from 2% to 5% of national advertising spend over this time period.

Additionally, McDonald’s will forge new multi-year partnerships with diverse-owned media companies. This longer-term funding will help bolster individual businesses, strengthen the broader marketing supply chain, and support inclusive, authentic storytelling between McDonald’s brand and diverse customers.

“We’ve been making serious commitments that are guided by our values, and with this latest move, we’re taking action to advance diverse-owned companies across the marketing supply chain,” said Morgan Flatley, chief marketing and digital customer experience officer, McDonald’s USA. “We’re using our resources to support these platforms and businesses, which keep the brand at the center of culture while creating deeper relationships with our diverse customers, crew and employees.” 

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McDonald’s four-year plan includes commitments to:

1) Increase national investments in diverse-owned companies from 4% to 10%. Spend with black-owned media and production properties will increase from 2% to 5%, and additional investments will follow with other diverse segments including Hispanic, Asian Pacific American, Women and LGBTQ-owned properties.

2) Forge multi-year partnerships with diverse-owned media and production companies, content-creators and influencers to support their businesses for sustainable, long-term growth; strengthen the marketing supply chain; enable deeper, more inclusive storytelling; and foster conduits for cultural connectivity.

3) Form an advisory board of external marketing and advertising subject matter experts dedicated to identifying the biggest barriers to economic opportunity facing diverse partners and putting collective resources behind new programs and initiatives to eliminate them. The group’s focus will be to drive change and impact across the industry.

4) This plan builds upon the company’s longstanding relationships with diverse-owned marketing and communications companies including The Boden Agency, Lopez Negrete, IW Group and Burrell Communications Group, a full-service agency and McDonald’s partner of 50 years.

It also follows the inaugural Media Partner Summit that McDonald’s hosted in November 2020, which convened diverse-owned media companies to identify mutually beneficial partnership opportunities that align with McDonald’s overall marketing strategy and goals. 

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