ITT Hires Agency Amid Planned Company Breakup

Mullen to create ads for transition, new tech unit

Mullen has won a new assignment from ITT Corp. that stems from the industrial giant’s plan to split into three companies.

The shop’s Winston Salem, N.C., office will create a campaign to explain the split and ads for one of the companies, which will center on water technology. Media spending behind the assignment is projected at nearly $10 million.

Three other agencies pitched ideas for the business. An ITT representative declined to identify the other contenders or confirm the media spend.

The White Plains, N.Y.-based ITT engineers and manufactures products for the water, defense and motion control industries. The corporation’s worldwide revenue totaled $11 billion last year and $2.76 billion in the first quarter of 2011—up 7 percent from the same quarter of 2010. Q1 net income slid 15 percent to $124 million, in part due to the cost of breaking up the company.

The marketing chief for the new water company will be Colin Sabol. In May, ITT named Sabol head of strategy and business development, which includes strategy, marketing, mergers and acquisitions, and product development. 

ITT’s water business will become a publicly traded company, with its own management and profit and loss responsibilities. It will also assume a new corporate brand name. Pro forma revenue for the business this year is estimated at $3.6 billion

The other two businesses are defense and information systems and ITT Corp., which will encompass industrial and aerospace products. Pro forma 2011 revenue for defense/information systems and ITT Corp. are projected at $5.8 billion and $2.1 billion, respectively.

The spin-off will likely be completed by year’s end.