Microsoft has consolidated its global direct marketing business into two agencies – Young & Rubicam’s Wunderman and Interpublic-owned MRM Partners.
The move has prompted IBM to move its direct marketing business from Wunderman to sister WPP agency OgilvyOne New York to avoid any clashes. Ogilvy & Mather is IBM’s global agency. It was awarded the business ten years ago.
Wunderman and MRM will take over the majority of Microsoft’s below-the-line activity, which is worth about $400m (&£210m) globally. This includes direct marketing, customer relationship management, design and interactive. No indications have yet emerged as to how the business will be split and whether Wunderman will make any inroads on Interpublic’s existing Microsoft accounts.
Microsoft claims that it will not be dropping its UK roster agency Chemistry. The agency will be involved on project-based local and tactical campaigns and carry out specific work alongside the two main agencies.
Chemistry won the &£10m UK account last February after a four-way pitch, which resulted in it snatching the account from EHS Brann (MW February 13, 2003).
In the UK, the Young & Rubicam work is expected to be handled by Harrison Troughton Wunderman and the Banner Corporation.
The announcement comes a month after Microsoft launched its integrated “Realising Potential” campaign, which is running until the end of June and was created by McCann-Erickson.
The company recently reviewed its Xbox direct marketing account. The &£3m brief for the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Africa was given to Tequila London after a competitive pitch.