Microsoft has added direct marketing agency Black Cat to its roster and briefed the agency to create its below-the-line sales promotional campaign for its home and retail division, which develops software such as Microsoft Office.
Black Cat’s first campaign for the software giant will launch in the early autumn and will promote Microsoft’s personal computer software in the run-up to Christmas. This will be followed by project work for the division, although arrangements have yet to be finalised.
Black Cat was previously unable to compete for the Microsoft account because it worked on IBM’s direct marketing business, one of Microsoft’s competitors. In particular, Black Cat worked on the direct marketing account for Lotus, which sold home office software. Lotus was later bought by IBM.
However, when IBM put its direct marketing account up for review, it ruled out Black Cat from repitching by specifying that it wanted a global agency; Black Cat is solely UK-based. Ogilvy One and Wonderman went on to win the IBM account.
Microsoft put its direct marketing account up for pitch in June. Other agencies on its roster include McCann-Erickson, which handles its global advertising, and ESH Brann, which manages aspects of its direct marketing business.
Nick Barley was appointed to UK marketing director in August.