Cisco appoints Grey to £38m global account

Internet infrastructure company Cisco Systems has appointed Grey to handle its estimated $55m (&£38m) global advertising account.

Grey picked up the business after a three-month pitch that also included TBWA/Chiat/Day and J Walter Thompson. Hill Holliday Connors Cosmopulos, Cisco’s incumbent agency, which is part of McCann-Erickson, declined to take part in the pitch. Its San Francisco office had held the company’s account for a decade.

The business will be run out of DarkGrey, the technology division of Grey Global, which will handle the account out of its New York and San Francisco offices. The division already handles the advertising for software giant Oracle and US telecoms company BellSouth.

Management of Cisco’s global media buying account has still to be decided. MediaCom, WPP-owned Mediaedge:CIA and Carat are understood to be pitching.

Cisco has seen its fortunes decline recently in line with the slump in technology investment. However, it is regarded as a bellwether for Internet-related industries.

Last year, Cisco teamed up with BT, Dell and Microsoft to offer services to BT’s 1.2 million small and medium-sized enterprise customers, backed by a marketing budget of &£6.6m.

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