a.k.a. Learns Patience Is a Virtue

After months of waiting, a.k.a. Euro RSCG finally watched new client Juniper Networks sign on the dotted line.

In May, a.k.a. emerged as the sole agency left standing in a pitch for the estimated $10-15 million business. Now, after working as “partners” for more than six months, a.k.a. will begin handling the creative and media on Juniper’s global advertising efforts.

Sources say the stall was likely the result of internal strategy discussions at the Sunnyvale, Calif., client, as well as advertising budget constraints. This is the first time the 5-year-old company, which makes Internet routing systems and other high-tech products, has had an agency relationship. Juniper’s main competitors are Cisco Systems and Unisphere Networks.

Other participants in the pitch were San Francisco-based shops Arnold Ingalls Moranville, Grey Worldwide, Publicis Technology and the now dismantled Saatchi & Saatchi, as well as TBWA\Chiat\Day in San Francisco and Playa del Rey, Calif., and JWT Technology in San Jose, Calif. Search consultant Select Resources International in West Hollywood, Calif., handled the review.

“This is a key win for us right now … and it’s all about focus,” said Michael Kantrow, managing partner and CEO of a.k.a.

“Juniper Networks is, and always has been, an incredibly focused company. In terms of the agency relationship, we’ve stayed focused as a partner would during the months since the pitch.”

Kantrow said neither the client nor the agency was discouraged by the dive in market conditions over the past year and both are prepared to move to the next level. “We’re ready to help build [the business], its innovative brand and service-provider customer base—in all possible ways.”

Kantrow declined to comment on when the first work for the client would break. “We’re in the planning stages right now,” he said.

Adam Stein, director of corporate marketing for Juniper Networks, said the shop’s patience was appreciated.

“As true partners, this team continued to work with us through the evolution in our business and market over the past few months,” Stein said. “We couldn’t be more excited to get our relationship into full gear.”

Although a.k.a. will serve as the lead strategic and creative agency for Juniper, the client will also have access to additional services within the Euro RSCG network throughout the U.S. and abroad.