3 Finalists Will Compete for Possible $100 Million Ad Prize
NEW YORK--Computer Associates International is seeking its first global agency to handle what could be a $100 million ad account, sources said.
Jim Holt, svp of global marketing at Islandia, N.Y.-based company, said it is currently considering eight shops but will cut to three this week. It will name an agency by June, he said.
Schell Mullaney here has held the account for more than 10 years; last November, it produced a TV spot tagged, "Software that thinks."
Agency representatives did not return calls, but Holt said the shop suggested a review when executives learned the client wanted a global campaign. Schell Mullaney is not bidding on the
business but is helping with the review process.
Shops being considered are J. Walter Thompson, DDB Worldwide, BBDO, D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Young & Rubicam, Gotham, Warwick Baker O'Neill, all New York, and Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston.
"They want to become America's preeminent software company," a source said of Computer Associates, adding that with the federal government poised to break up Microsoft, the client is ready to emerge in the public mind.
Holt said the review is not connected to the issues surrounding Microsoft but with promoting the company's abilities to build, maintain and secure e-businesses.
Established in 1976, Computer Associates is known primarily for its Unicenter network software and IT industry trade show, CA World.
"The new economy requires a different approach to marketing," Holt said. "CA has over 1,000 software titles and is not known for its e-business abilities."
Holt wants a full-service agency with corporate brand-building expertise, a multinational network, "great creativity" and measured effectiveness in business-to-business communications.
The client spent just $5 million on media in 1999 and $2.1 million through the first two months of this year, according to Competitive Media Reporting. Holt would not comment on the expanded ad budget.
The company is headed by Charles B. Wang, 55, chairman and CEO who emigrated to the United States from Shanghai in 1952.
The company reported $5.2 billion in sales for fiscal year 1999 ending in March, putting it third behind Microsoft and IBM, respectively.