Young & Rubicam has won a pitch to develop Microsoft's next b-to-campaign, business which has been handled by Deutsch, which also competed for the latest initiative along with Crispin Porter + Bogusky. The shift is the latest since Microsoft evp of advertising and strategy Mark Penn joined the computer giant in 2012 and roster agencies have since vied for business through jump ball project assignments.
“It’s an effort to consolidate all b-to-b under a united campaign instead of different pieces under different silos,” said a source. “Whenever Microsoft has a project now they set up a jump ball.”
Reps at Young & Rubicam, Deutsch and CP+B declined comment, referring calls to the client.
A Microsoft rep said the marketer “regularly evaluates its agency mix as a business best practice” and specifically addressed the Y&R assignment: “We recently completed an agency review for a defined project supporting our commercial business and look forward to working with Y&R. Deutsch remains a valuable part of our agency roster.”
Before moving to Microsoft, Penn was CEO of Burson-Marsteller, which is part of the Young & Rubicam Group.
Other agencies have also recently won creative jump balls from Microsoft: Omelet, an eight-year-old L.A. boutique, opened an office in Seattle in 2012 to handle projects like a Microsoft Windows phone assignment. The agency hired Rob Poznanski, who spent five years working as a senior marketing exec at Microsoft, to become vp, general manager of the new office. Since then Omelet landed a Surface 2 tablet project that led to the current “Honestly” campaign, a source said, adding that Crispin also pitched for the assignment.