The Boeing Co., which tapped McCann-Erickson Worldwide in September to handle its global ad campaign, has since opened discussions with Bozell, said sources.
Representatives of McCann in Los Angeles said they know of no pending changes and are continuing to develop the campaign, which is set for a spring launch.
But sources familiar with the account said Boeing officials were unhappy with McCann's early concepts and plan to move a large chunk of the $30 million account to Bozell, Seattle, in time for the launch.
"McCann took two major swings Boeing hated," said a source. "They only had it for three months, and now Boeing is calling in Bozell."
Boeing officials confirmed they have begun discussions with FCB Worldwide--which merged with Bozell last September--in an effort to expand the company's global presence. But they added there are no plans for the Seattle aerospace firm to terminate the relationship with McCann.
"We are exploring the option of expanding our branding efforts worldwide," said Anne Toulouse, Boeing vice president of brand management and advertising. "We have a contract with McCann-Erickson. We don't have a contract in place with any other agency.
"We are looking for options in our advertising and branding efforts that allow us to push the envelope in the global sense," Toulouse added.
Said Pete Hatt, president of Bozell Seattle, "They are discussing with us expanding their global communications capabilities. We haven't had enough discussions with them to know exactly what our assignments would be if we were to get [them]."
Hank Wasiak, executive vice president and managing director of McCann Los Angeles, said the shop is unaware of any plans to split the account. "Our point of view and our agreement with Boeing is we're forging ahead," he said.