McCann, A&L Talking

Joint Windows Win Could Mean S.F. Merger
SAN FRANCISCO-McCann-Erickson and Interpublic Group of Cos. sister shop Anderson & Lembke are likely to merge their offices here in the wake of last week’s joint win of Microsoft’s Windows account, sources said. Spending has not been determined, but the introductory Windows 2000 budget is expected to be $50-100 million.
The two won Windows following a creative and strategy presentation last week in Redmond, Wash. The meeting was attended by some 40 agency and client executives in all.
Rob Schoeben, director of integrated marketing communications for Microsoft’s business enterprise division, said McCann and A&L will handle the launch of Windows 2000 in North America, but that the assignment is not global. He added: “However, McCann’s advertising will probably drive some brand strategy [internationally].”
Sources said McCann and A&L executives were told by Microsoft there would be global responsibilities.
“They wanted to know the total capacity of our organization in case they need to draw on it,” said Don Dillon, president of McCann-Erickson North America.
The winning pitch centered on McCann’s global capabilities, consumer insights and grasp of the communications world, Dillon said.
In an earlier briefing with Microsoft, sources said McCann made a proposal to take on the client’s $230 million global account [Adweek, May 10]. Dillon would not discuss details of that meeting; Microsoft evp, chief operating officer Bob Herbold has denied any international changes will occur.
As for merging McCann and A&L’s San Francisco offices, Dillon said, “There is definitely talk of that, but a decision hasn’t been determined.” The combination would create an agency billing more than $500 million. -with Angela Dawson