Contenders Emerge in Vonage Review

Agency briefings are scheduled for next week

Vonage has narrowed the field in its review of its creative and media businesses, with briefings slated for early next week.

Sources identified the creative contenders as JWT, Havas Worldwide, VML and the incumbent, TBWA\Chiat\Day. VML is only pursuing the digital advertising piece of the creative assignment; the others seek to handle all creative responsibilities.

The media finalists, according to sources, are Horizon Media, Mindshare, TargetCast and the incumbent, PHD. Collectively, the media and creative assignments represent about $10 million in revenue.

Vonage’s media spending exceeded $150 million last year and $84 million in the first half of 2012, according to Nielsen. Those figures don’t include online spending.

The New York offices of TBWA\C\D and PHD have handled Vonage’s creative and media accounts, respectively, since 2009. Both are units of Omnicom Group.

Key decision-makers in the review include CEO Marc Lefar, chief marketing officer Barbara Goodstein and vp of marketing Leesa Eichberger. Goodstein joined the company in July. 

The four creative finalists emerged from a field of about eight that met with Vonage executives, said sources. In selecting its four media contenders, Vonage considered about six shops. Roth Associates in New York is managing the process

Roth did not return calls and Vonage, which is based in Holmdel, N.J., could not immediately be reached.

Vonage is holding separate pitches for its creative and media assignments and final presentations will take place in January, sources said.