We Hear: Verizon to Consolidate the Digital Portion of Its Business with R/GA

By Patrick Coffee 

We can’t offer any definitive on the record statements at the moment, but we have learned that Verizon will continue its recent string of agency consolidations by sending the entirety of its digital marketing business for the main Verizon brand to R/GA.

This means that the client may soon end its relationship with AKQA, which had been incumbent on the account.

Back in April 2015, AdAge got the scoop on Verizon’s shift, with the telcom giant confirming that it had begun to review its digital roster in the interest of choosing an agency partner to “provide more support.” In April, the review concluded with the addition of R/GA. At the time, it was understood that the two shops would share the account, and a client spokesperson indicated that AKQA’s relationship with Verizon would be expanding while R/GA would handle the “social media, e-commerce, and CRM” portions of the business.

It would appear that this is no longer the case.

AKQA first won the business away from R/GA back in 2012, beating out SapientNitro, Huge, Publicis’ Denuo and Moxie (which was the primary digital agency on Verizon FiOS until that went to MRM//McCann). The account had been with R/GA for several years prior to that review, so this latest development is another evolution of the relationship between agency and client.

R/GA and AKQA both repeatedly declined to comment and a Verizon spokesperson told us that the latter agency remains on its roster at this moment. Multiple sources outside both of those shops, however, have confirmed that the move has either already happened or will happen soon.

Verizon is a multimillon-dollar account, so the news marks a significant win for R/GA. Back in 2010, the estimated value of the business was “more than $10 million,” and that total has undoubtedly increased over the past four years.