Publicis Groupe’s Digitas and Leo Burnett share $1bn Sprint telecoms account

Publicis Groupe may be waiting anxiously to find out if it’s about to lose a huge slice of General Motors’ $3bn media account but, if it is, it’s just received a hefty slice of compensation with the award of wireless telecom giant Sprint’s $1bn account to Digitas and Leo Burnett.

Digitas is to be the lead agency in so-called ‘Team Sprint’ managing brand strategy, advertising, digital, offline media, digital buying and analytics while Chicago-based Leo Burnett leads creative. Interestingly Digitas recently lost its CEO Laura Lang who is off to run Time Inc, the magazine division of Time Warner.

Sprint CMO Bill Malloy says Team Sprint is a “brand-dedicated agency ecosystem,” which “provides an integrated, collaborative environment where the focus is on consumer needs, today and in the future.” Quite something then.

The advertising business moves from Omnicom-owned Goodby, Silverstein & Partners while Euro RSCG Chicago loses the digital side.

The fact that Digitas is the lead agency on the account gives a pretty clear indication of the way Malloy and co see Sprint’s marketing moving over the next few years. Sprint is owned by Sprint Nextel and, with over 50m customers, is the third-largest wireless telecoms network in the US behind Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility.

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