Lenovo is in the late stages of a U.S. media review with final pitches scheduled next month, Adweek has learned.
The electronics giant will hear pitches from Deutsch, Digitas and Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners before selecting an agency in early February, according to sources. Media spending on the brand exceeded $30 million last year, according to Nielsen.
The winner will succeed incumbent Neo@Ogilvy, which is not defending. The finalists emerged from a broader field that also included Mullen, The Martin Agency and ZenithOptimedia.
"Despite the fact that it's a media review, [Lenovo is] really looking at more full-service-type agencies that have a media department embedded," a source said. "And then whenever there's a creative need, they'd have the creative capability and be looked upon to fulfill that need as well."
In the specialized world of advertising, it's unusual for a brand to eye creative shops for what is primarily a media assignment. Normally, the two roles leave little-to-no room for overlapping.
But to be clear, Saatchi & Saatchi remains Lenovo's lead creative agency globally. That said, the new U.S. media agency may help adapt global campaigns for the domestic market, the source said.
"It's not a change in the direction of the brand," the source explained. "It's just a change in how Lenovo gets amplified in the U.S."
Hasan + Co., based in Raleigh, N.C., is managing the search. The consultancy did not return calls and Lenovo declined to comment.
Meanwhile, somewhat interestingly, one of the agencies that didn't make the cut, Mullen, has been handling Lenovo's North American e-commerce since spring.