Verizon Shift Boosts McCann

NEW YORK Verizon, in a bid to save money and create a common look and feel for ads across its communications, business and wireless divisions, is pruning its roster and consolidating the bulk of its business at units of McCann Worldgroup that previously handled just Verizon Wireless.

Verizon will now work with 10 core agencies (four of which are within Worldgroup), down from more than 20 previously.

The Basking Ridge, N.J.-based client last year spent $1.9 billion in a major measured media, 84 percent of which—$1.6 billion—supported Verizon Wireless, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

The big winners include Interpublic Group’s McCann Erickson, which picks up ad duties on communications and business products and services that independent mcgarrybowen and Havas’ Euro RSCG, respectively, used to handle; IPG’s MRM, which gets direct marketing duties on communications from sister shop DraftFCB; and IPG’s Universal McCann, which adds media planning duties on communications and business.

Other roster shops were essentially unaffected. Continuing to work across divisions are Publicis Groupe’s Zenith (media buying), Zenith unit Moxie (online creative, media planning and buying duties), IPG’s R/GA (digital design chores) and WPP Group’s Landor Associates (brand identity duties).

The consolidation comes four months after then Verizon Wireless chief marketing officer John Stratton added oversight for the corporation’s communications and business groups. As marketing chief on wireless, Stratton worked closely with McCann Worldgroup.

“Fewer agencies will allow us to leverage key creative teams and develop one immediately identifiable Verizon brand,” said Stratton, in a statement. “It
is an essential step in a process that will help us continue to lead the industry in providing quality voice, data, entertainment and business solutions.”

Verizon identified its other core agencies as GlobalHue (Hispanic, African-American directed ads), Ad Asia (Asian-American directed ads) and
IPG’s Momentum (sponsorships).

This story updates an item posted earlier today with client confirmation and additional details about specific assignments.