Microsoft has finished its global creative and media review a bit earlier than expected, appointing Interpublic agencies headed by McCann to handle the creative across its numerous product lines and Aegis (now part of Dentsu/Aegis) to handle its global media worth between $1bn and $2bn. Presumably the media will go through Aegis network Carat.
This is both good and bad news for IPG. Winning the creative is obviously good although big, multi-product companies like Microsoft (Windows, Xbox etc) have a habit of wandering off the centralised agenda if individual marketing bosses decide they could do better elsewhere.
On the media front it’s pretty disastrous for IPG as its biggest media network, UM, is heavily dependent on Microsoft’s business outside the US. Without Microsoft UM looks pretty shaky and the betting will increase on a merger between UM and its smaller sibling Initiative. It will also be a blow to IPG’s out of home specialist Rapport which will see the business go to Aegis-owned Posterscope.
For Aegis/Carat (Dentsu probably didn’t have much to do with this) it’s another example of the buccaneering media-only network, headed by Brit Jerry Buhlmann (left), sweeping up another huge US media account, against the odds. Two years ago it won General Motors’ $3bn global media account.
And it’s a kick in the teeth for Publicis which used to handle loads of Microsoft creative and digital work through various agencies. PG boss Maurice Levy, currently grappling with a merger with Omnicom which might now not happen owing to tax problems and internecine disputes, won’t be a happy bunny. PG has been squeezed out of GM and Microsoft now, which doesn’t help its ambitions in the US at all.
The ghost definitely not at the feast is WPP. WPP hasn’t won any creative or the global media in this review. Which should annoy boss Sir Martin Sorrell.
Unless WPP thinks it has bigger fish to fry in the $14bn Samsung global review. Who knows? The big winner in all this is seems to be Aegis.