We Hear: Is Goodby Losing Sprint? (Updated: Yes, They Are)

By Kiran Aditham Comment

Jeez louise, in just the last half-hour, we’ve been inundated with tips from various spies that say Sprint is parting ways with Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, which has been working on the business since early 2007. We count seven tips in about 20 minutes (all different IPs) and here’s one of the most telling ones if true, verbatim: “At 11:20 GSP sent an email saying rush agency meeting, they are losing all sprint business, silverstein got the call from sprint an hour ago.” Tipsters add that the San Francisco stalwart has “180 days to close down the account.”

Suffice it to say that it’s been quite an interesting last few months at GS&P, what with the Chevy review, the HP split and now this if it’s legit. We’re checking with several of our Goodby contacts to see what’s really going on with this matter. Stay tuned…

Update: Well, looks like we were right. A Goodby spokesperson issued this statement: “Today we got a call from Sprint that after five years of working together we’ll be parting ways. We are phenomenally proud of the work we’ve done for the brand. We are moving on and are open for business.”

Good luck, Digitas. After the jump, a spy sent us what appears to be a celebratory note from the Publicis Groupe agency’s North American CEO Colin Kinsella. Read on.

“Hi Everyone,

I have a second piece of wonderful news to share with you.

Today, we officially welcome Sprint – A Fortune 500 company, a leader in telecommunications and technology, and America’s Favorite 4G Network – as a partner and client. WOW.

It is with great pride that I share this with you, and for many reasons. Here are three of them:

First, we share a heritage of bold innovation. Dating back to 1899, Sprint’s founder Cleyson Brown demonstrated this when the “Brown Telephone Company” successfully went toe-to-toe with the Bell monopoly in Abilene, Kansas. Fast forward a century later, the early aggressive growth strategies have firmly established Sprint as one of the nation’s premiere telecom providers.

Second, we get to apply our obsessions—people, relationships and outcomes—to a brand and client who share our focus. Sprint has stated that we are best-in-class when it comes to providing client-tailored solutions due to our experiences with GM, Whirlpool, and AMEX, to name a few. Digitas will immediately establish for Sprint a streamlined client model that is people-inspired, enriches customer relationships, and is outcome-focused.

Third, and last, this is a strategic union of true collaboration and mutual commitment. The client model will be cast by team members across Publicis Groupe agencies under one Sprint dedicated, client ecosystem—Team Sprint. Leading Team Sprint is Tony Weisman, along with Doug Ryan as day-to-day Director. Team Sprint’s home will be the Digitas Chicago office on North LaSalle.

I also have a fourth, and equally proud reason—Tony and the small Digitas swat team who helped make this win happen. In particular, Tony was, and is, undeniably instrumental in this remarkable win. The commitment to fight for every inch, the tireless energy and daily (if not hourly) demonstration of partnership to Sprint ensuring that our new client found comfort and confidence in Digitas and the sister agencies that comprise Team Sprint demands an ovation from all of us.

Specifically, Team Sprint is responsible for brand advertising, offline media, digital media, and strategy and analytics. Leo Burnett will be a critical member of Team Sprint.

Sprint has given us a unique opportunity to influence 53 million Sprint customers, plus future customers. This is a challenge we relish, on behalf of a brand and partner we admire.

You may read about this news in the press very shortly. The external announcement is being managed with careful diligence. Please forward any press inquiries to [redacted].

I am thoroughly inspired. Again, WOW.

Colin A. Kinsella | CEO – North America | D I G I T A S”