Lead creative duties on DirecTV have shifted from Deutsch/LA to the shop's New York office as the Interpublic Group agency hustles to meet the demands of a client that's now largely based in New York.
The shift, which the client confirmed, also comes as fellow DirecTV shop Grey produces work that goes beyond the scope of its direct marketing/customer relationship management assignment and overlaps with the brand image brief of Deutsch, according to sources.
WPP Group's Grey in New York joined the roster in the fall; Deutsch has handled lead creative and media duties since 2006. Deutsch's N.Y. office already handled media buying and most of the media planning duties on the account. So, the shift results in the consolidation of all the shop's business at a single office.
A DirecTV representative said the creative shift "made sense" given that the company's CEO, chief marketing officer and senior vice president of advertising and communications are all based in New York and that using an office nearby would be "more efficient." Deutsch and Grey declined to comment.
CMO Paul Guyardo and Jon Gieselman, svp of advertising and communications, have worked out of N.Y. for years, but until last year the company's CEO had been based in Marina del Rey, Calif. New CEO Michael White, who started in December, operates out of N.Y.
DirecTV is among Deutsch's largest clients, along with Volkswagen of America, Sony PlayStation and PNC Bank. Until now, all but PNC were led by Deutsch's office in Marina del Rey.
Major media spending on DirecTV totaled nearly $420 million last year, up from about $370 million in 2008, according to Nielsen. Those figures don't include online spending.
Deutsch's most recent TV spots depict a game show ("To Tell the Truth") hosted by Alex Trebek in which a contestant representing DirecTV beats competitors labeled "Dish Network" and "cable" on a question about "great value."
The value comparison stands in contrast to Deutsch's previous spots, which re-fashioned scenes from popular movies like Back to the Future into pitches for the satellite television provider. In each spot, an actor or actress from the original movie reprises his or her previous role.