McCann Inherits Verizon Wireless Creative Account

By Patrick Coffee 

Verizon has taken the latest step in its agency consolidation plan by assigning creative duties for its wireless line to McCann New York.

AdAge’s source says there was no review.

This is not a complete surprise as McCann has been handling the FiOS account for some time and survived at 2010 review (its most recent ads from the summer starred Rashida Jones). A source close to the matter tells us that the transition has, in effect, been in the works for nearly a year since the client first began planning its agency consolidation.


Way back in July, a client spokesperson told us that Verizon would continue working with mcgarrybowen, adding that they couldn’t quite understand where any rumors to the contrary may have started.

They’re still saying that, though it’s not exactly clear what role mcgarrybowen will play moving forward. Here are the client’s go-to statements:

“Verizon is in a dynamic and exciting business. We will always be looking at our roster of agencies to best align capabilities with our changing needs. I expect that we’ll continue to make changes as our business changes.

As a policy we don’t comment on our agency relationships, but we are constantly optimizing our roster to ensure we have access to the best thinking, best talent, and most creative ideas.”

The most recent shift over at Verizon came in June, when the communications giant consolidated its digital accounts with R/GA and AKQA. The company also awarded the bulk of its sponsorship/entertainment business to incumbent Momentum Worldwide in March–and the whole thing started back in January, when a spokesperson told us that Verizon had signed Wieden+Kennedy to refresh its larger creative campaigns. (Wieden’s first massive campaign debuted last month.)

In short, W+K is handling the branding work while McCann promotes the client’s products and services. This means that Wieden may well create some brand positioning campaigns for Verizon Wireless in the future, but McCann is now officially its AOR.

A partial list of the agencies that have lost Verizon work over the past year:

  • mcgarrybowen
  • Moxie
  • SapientNitro
  • Erwin Penland
  • Wasserman Media Group
  • Marketing Werks

Who are we missing? The client did tell us in January that its agency partners “number about 40 at this point.”