UPDATE: Verizon Goes with R/GA, AKQA for Digital

By Patrick Coffee 

Yesterday we heard from various sources that Verizon had resolved the digital review that began in April, choosing R/GA and retaining incumbent AKQA. Despite some claims that one agency or the other would play “lead” on the account, a Verizon spokesperson now tells us that’s not quite true–and that AKQA’s role on the business will expand moving forward.

The client has an longstanding relationship with R/GA, which worked on various initiatives like a Times Square DROID billboard before losing its “lead digital partner status” to AKQA in 2012. Just over a year later, Verizon sent more business to R/GA by moving its phone account away from Razorfish.

An AKQA spokesperson referred us to the client, which offered this boilerplate comment on its latest review:

“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 balance between the two agencies on the account was not clear at the time, though a source claimed that R/GA will handle social media, e-commerce, and CRM moving forward.

Late yesterday, Verizon clarified, telling us that it would be inaccurate to designate either R/GA or AKQA as “lead” creative agency on the digital account. Another client spokesperson writes:

“[Both agencies] will have significant roles and increased work.”

Verizon offered no hint as to how this move will change its relationships with its other digital agencies (Moxie, MRM//McCann, mcgarrybowen, etc.).