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McDonald's Named 'Marketer of the Year'

Dec 13, 2004

McDonald's Corporation (NYSE: MCD) was honored today as "Marketer of the Year" by Advertising Age magazine, for the brand's marketing achievements around the world in 2004.

"I'm lovin' it! We're honored to be recognized with one of the most coveted awards in the advertising and marketing world," said Jim Skinner, McDonald's Chief Executive Officer. "The two pillars of McDonald's revitalization have been operational excellence and leadership marketing, our strategic priorities that have helped reconnect our brand to customers. Next year, we'll build on all the momentum we've achieved in 2004 to further drive our business and to surprise and delight our customers."

"We consider hundreds of companies for this honor every year," said Advertising Age's Editor in Chief Rance Crain. "Revitalizing marketing at one of the world's most recognized brands is a tall order for any company. But McDonald's had a plan and the leaders to get it done. We saw innovative marketing at McDonald's, breakthrough strategies that went around the world to revitalize the brand." On Monday, Crain is presenting the award to McDonald's senior management and marketing teams, as well as all home office employees. He was joined by Advertising Age Editor Scott Donaton and Reporter Kate MacArthur.

In choosing Marketer of the Year, Advertising Age weighed a number of criteria, including a company's business performance, strong leadership, advertising creative and marketing effectiveness.

Larry Light, Executive Vice President and Global Chief Marketing Officer, noted that 'i'm lovin' it' marked the first time McDonald's worldwide business was united and aligned behind a single theme and brand direction.

"Marketing innovation at McDonald's has attracted a lot of attention this year, both from the news media and customers. In fact, advertising awareness of 'i'm lovin' it' in our top ten countries recently reached 86% -- another sign that we're connecting with customers like never before," said Light. "We've broken into new territory in all aspects of marketing this year, and it's only the beginning. We've changed the voice of our advertising, celebrating what our customers love about life, which is why you see a dramatic difference in tone and attitude at the Golden Arches."

"We're fortunate that both Jim Cantalupo and Charlie Bell had the foresight to see how the 'Plan to Win' could help revitalize our business," said Skinner. "It's thanks, in large part, to their strong support of marketing and their intense focus on recapturing our leadership role in that arena that has helped make 'i'm lovin' it' so successful."

"All around the world, our local markets created compelling adaptations of 'i'm lovin' it,' as evidenced by the many awards that our new brand campaign has received," said Dean Barrett, McDonald's Senior Vice President for global marketing. "We set ourselves apart by only looking for the first, biggest and best opportunities, aligning ourselves with top talent around the globe such as Destiny's Child, Justin Timberlake and Yao Ming. And, there's much more to come next year so stay tuned!"

"A great deal has happened during the last two years to bring about these significant achievements," said Bill Lamar, Chief Marketing Officer, McDonald's USA. "However, our success has not been the result of any one thing. It has been the result of a number of things all working together. The 'i'm lovin' it' creative has really connected with our customers and let them know that the McDonald's brand is more relevant, modern and young at heart."

Since Advertising Age began naming an annual Marketer of the Year in 1971, McDonald's was honored once before in 1989 when it was named "Marketer of the Decade."

McDonald's is the leading global foodservice retailer with more than 30,000 local restaurants serving nearly 47 million people in more than 100 countries each day. Approximately 70 percent of McDonald's restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent, local businessmen and women. For more information about McDonald's, please visit .

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SOURCE: McDonald's Corporation

CONTACT: Walt Riker of McDonald's Corporation, +1-630-623-7318

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