Cisco Shops Identified; RFP Outlines Process

NEW YORK — Cisco Systems asks about experience with technology and business-to-business clients, and requests a case history of “a successful integrated international campaign” in an RFP received by at least 10 agencies.

The five-page document also asks about conflicts by soliciting a list of existing clients in the “technology, network products and services, or telecommunications equipment sectors.” Cisco launched a review of its $50-60 million account late last month; incumbent Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos in San Francisco declined an invitation to defend.

The San Jose, Calif.-based company calls itself a global leader in networking for the Internet. Its systems transport data, voice and video within buildings, across campuses and around the world.

The RFP also requests creative samples (TV spots, print ads, online efforts and integrated marketing campaigns) and basic agency information, such as service offerings and the names of key executives and top clients. The document was returnable on Feb. 8, said sources.

Eight recipients are in San Francisco: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners; BBDO West; Arnold; Grey; Young & Rubicam; JWT & Tonic; McCann-Erickson; and Foote, Cone & Belding, sources said. One is in Southern California — Deutsch/LA in Marina del Rey — and one, Ogilvy & Mather, is in New York, said sources. Not all are pursuing the business, however. FCB, for example, declined to participate, due to a conflict with Avaya.

The client will cut to 3-5 finalists as early as next week, said sources. On Friday, Jere King, vp, worldwide marketing communications for Cisco, said the review was “still in the very early phase,” and it was too early to confirm an initial list, noting that it was “changing all the time.”

Key client decision-makers include chief marketing officer James Richardson and Keith Fox, vp, corporate marketing.