J.D. Edwards Taps Deutsch

LOS ANGELES–Enterprise software company J.D. Edwards has awarded its $25-30 million creative and media account to Deutsch/LA.

The Marina del Rey, Calif., agency edged out business-to-business specialists including incumbent neoBrands in Costa Mesa, Calif., which pitched with Young & Rubicam Advertising in Irvine, Calif.; Doremus in San Francisco and New York; and DWP/Bates Technology in Atlanta. “Deutsch distanced itself from the field by best demonstrating brand leadership, demand creation and measurement,” said J.D. Edwards representative John Sawyer.

Agency and client are expected to hold meetings over the next few weeks to determine the scope of the work. Deutsch has also not determined who will lead the account. The shop plans to hire 10-15 employees, including account management and creative staff, to service the business, said Mike Sheldon, managing partner and general manager of Deutsch/LA.

Sheldon described J.D. Edwards as “a company we think are really great at the core yet haven’t figured out their marketing equation. They have a great product, great leadership and the final touch is how to take it to market. Now is the time to turn on the advertising faucet and see what happens.”

J.D. Edwards posted losses the last two years, and cut its workforce by 800 employees (14 percent) last year and laid off another 400 in May. The company also saw significant senior-staff turnover after Doug Massingill succeeded Edward McVaney as CEO in 1998. COO Dave Girard resigned and was replaced by Hank Bonde, former president of the defunct LA Cellular, and Les Wyatt arrived as chief marketing officer. McVaney returned as CEO in 2000.

J.D. Edwards had worked with neoBrands in Costa Mesa, Calif., since 1999. NeoBrands’ ads for the Denver client included print and online executions featuring the message, “Collaborate or die.” That tag will not appear in future work, Sheldon said. The account becomes one of the Deutsch/LA’s largest, behind Mitsubishi and DirecTV.