McDonald’s has hired former ZPG CMO Gareth Helm to head up marketing in the UK and Ireland .

He replaces Emily Somers who left the business last year to set up her own agency.

READ MORE: McDonald’s most senior UK marketer takes on global role.

Helm left Zoopla owner ZPG in December 2018, after nearly four years as its CMO for property and comparison divisions.

With a career spanning 29 years Helm started out at Unilever in 1990, and has since held senior marketing roles at some of the UK’s best known brands including Nestlé, Mars, Innocent and MoneySuperMarket.com.

Despite never working for a fast-food brand previously, Helm’s wealth of experience across challenger brands and global giants will prove useful at time when McDonald’s needs to innovate.

Veganism is on the rise with rival Burger King expanding into fake meat burgers and consumers holding brands to a higher standard than ever before.

Consumer scrutiny over brands environmental and health impact is clear and recently, UK McDonald’s chief executive, Paul Pomroy, was forced to defend its new paper straws which consumers said ‘ruined milkshakes’.

There has also been a crackdown on junk food advertising, which Helm will have to contend with, with stricter curfews potentially on the horizon.