$50 Mil. XM Selects Lowe for Creative

NEW YORK XM Satellite Radio has chosen Interpublic Group’s Lowe for creative chores on its estimated $50 million ad account following a review, the client has confirmed.

Independents The Richards Group in Dallas and Wieden + Kennedy in New York, as well as Omnicom Group’s DDB in New York, were finalists. Presentations took place last week.

Lowe here takes over creative duties on XM from holding company sibling Mullen in Wenham, Mass., which did not defend. Mullen’s MediaHub unit will continue to handle planning and buying, which were not in play.

Select Resources International, the consultancy in Santa Monica, Calif., managed the review. As many as 10 agencies were involved at the semifinal stage.

Some agencies that initially received the request for proposal from SRI elected not to pursue the account, primarily because the annual fee is $2 million, low for an account XM’s size, according to sources.

Mullen last November launched a campaign featuring Ellen DeGeneres, Snoop Dogg, Derek Jeter, David Bowie and Martina McBride. All five showed up in one spot to showcase the number of choices that XM offers across its 150-plus channels, such as music, live sports, concerts, news and talk selections. That work introduced the tagline, “Listen large.”

In July, XM named former Sprint Nextel executive My-Chau Nguyen senior vice president of marketing, planning and research and former Intel executive Sean Connolly vice president of brand management and media.

Sources said their arrival drove the review, along with the recent decline of XM’s share price.

XM is the No. 1 satellite radio provider, claiming more than 7 million subscribers. Sirius Satellite Radio is No. 2 with 4.7 million subscribers.

This story upsates an earlier item with client confirmation.