SAN FRANCISCO Microsoft has moved its Windows phone assignment to lead consumer shop Crispin Porter + Bogusky, a unit of MDC Partners, from Interpublic Group's McCann Erickson ahead of the Windows 7 launch in October, sources said.
Marketing support behind the rollout of the Windows 7 operating system for mobile devices could not be determined. Despite taking another hit, McCann still handles some Windows mobile assignments. And on the plus side, the agency's T.A.G. unit won a new Microsoft mobile effort, code-named Pink, and it continues to handle Xbox.
Reps at McCann and Crispin declined comment, referring inquiries to Microsoft, which could not immediately be reached.
In the last 20 months, Microsoft has looked beyond its former lead agency McCann for new ideas on key assignments, adding Crispin and WPP's JWT to its agency roster and shifting large pieces of business like its Office suite and the "People ready" campaign to JWT.
IPG, in its 2008 annual report, counted Microsoft, which spends more than $1 billion annually on overall marketing, as one of its five largest clients.
WPP is gaining ground with the software giant at IPG's expense in other areas as well. Earlier this year, the client confirmed that it was consolidating its customer relationship marketing business at WPP's Wunderman, eliminating McCann Worldgroup's MRM Worldwide from its roster. Wunderman has now become Microsoft's global distribution network for general advertising as well as direct marketing, sources said. A Wunderman rep declined comment.