Motorola Considers 3 for Media Duties

CHICAGO-Motorola’s efforts to consolidate its marketing activities continue as three media shops vie for the media buying and planning portion of the company’s $400 million global account.

While Universal McCann is Motorola’s lead media shop, the business is also spread among several other companies. The media agency competition is the latest review Motorola has undertaken in the past year that is aimed at consolidating its advertising business.

The maker of electronics and communications equipment in July placed the creative portion of its account at Ogilvy & Mather in New York. When that review ended, the decision was made to review global media buying and planning, a Motorola representative said.

Ogilvy, which prior to the review handled Motorola’s direct and interactive business, bested Motorola’s incumbent lead shop, McCann-Erickson, and Leo Burnett, which had the company’s semiconductor advertising, to take home the business. Also last year, Motorola chose Hill & Knowlton, also a unit of WPP, as its global strategic public relations consultancy.

Some insiders suggested the WPP connection could give MindShare the edge in the media review. “They already have a working relationship and synergy,” a source said.

Executives from the three agencies will meet with Motorola officials later this month. A winner is expected in early March.

The review comes as Motorola struggles through tough financial times, with a downturn in cell-phone sales leading to predictions of flat sales for the first quarter.

Universal McCann now faces the prospect of defending more than $500 million in billings from two major clients. Earlier this month, Sony Pictures Entertainment invited media agencies to pitch its estimated $250 million-plus business.

In that review, Universal McCann is competing against MindShare, Carat and other undisclosed shops, sources said.