IBM is nearing a decision in its interactive agency review and could make a choice as soon as this week. The business, expected to be split among several agencies, could total tens of millions in revenue for the winners, sources said.
Company representatives declined comment. Sources said the review, which initially included as many as 130 shops, was now down to less than 10 contenders.
Some of the agencies believed to still be in the pitch include: OgilvyOne, New York, IBM's lead agency; Nicholson NY, Think New Ideas, New York; Studio Archetype, San Francisco; and Strategic Interactive Group, Boston, all of which already handle work for the Armonk, N.Y.-based company. Modem Media.Poppe Tyson, Westport, Conn. and Brand Dialogue, New York, Young & Rubicam's interactive division, also remain in the hunt.
Sources said OgilvyOne, whose parent company, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, handles the IBM business globally, likely would keep most of the business. The rest will probably be split by division amongst other shops.
IBM and Microsoft lead the pack in online advertising, both spending approximately $7.7 million in online media during the first quarter of this year. The IBM figure represents a 148 percent increase over the same period in 1997.
IBM is known for using the Web for more than just branding, and for employing rich media in its ads. In addition, the company utilizes the Web for customer service and electronic commerce.