KFC, which operates more than 11,000 chicken restaurants in 80 countries, has put its PR account up for review, Jonathan Blum, senior VP-public affairs at parent company Yum Brands, told O'Dwyer's.
Edelman, the 28-year incumbent, declined to pitch the business. Nancy Ruscheinski, president of Edelman's central region, has not yet been reached about the decision not to re-pitch.
KFC has been the target of an aggressive campaign by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals for alleged cruelty to chickens. The company says its suppliers adhere to the highest standards of animal welfare.
Yum Brands also operates the Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Long John Silver's and A&W All-American Food restaurant chains. It has made "teaming up sister restaurants" a corporate priority.
I am going to put some money on Cohn & Wolfe (who handles Taco Bell) or Ogilvy (who handles Pizza Hut) for having the upperhand.
As Yum! notes, the new corporate strategy is the many-in-one restaurant, to bundle Pizza Hut with Taco Bell with KFC, for example, or A&W with Taco Bell with Long John Silver's. So, it makes sense to have some synergy with the agencies, and to possibly combine PR for as many units with one firm.