McCann Wins Nortel Global

LOS ANGELES McCann Worldgroup said it has won global advertising duties for Nortel Networks following a review.

U.S. ad spending on the brand was $10 million in 2005, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Global spending figures for the Toronto-based telecom products and services company were not immediately available.

McCann Erickson and Universal McCann will handle creative and media chores, respectively.

Other Worldgroup units, such as FutureBrand, Momentum, MRM and Weber Shandwick, could also work on Nortel as needed, said Matt Ross, president of McCann’s San Francisco office, which will lead the business. (Interpublic Group owns Worldgroup.)

Independent The Richards Group, Dallas, had previously handled Nortel. Richards could not be reached, and it was unclear if the shop participated in the review. Other contenders also could not be determined.

Rob Bagot and John McNeil, both executive creative directors at McCann in San Francisco, will oversee creative development on a campaign scheduled to break in the first quarter.

Their task is to “unify the brand proposition and bring it to life on a global basis … and recognize that it’s not what we say but how we say it in progressive, innovative ways,” Ross said.

The focus will be “primarily business-to-business, but a broad spectrum, from small businesses to the very largest on the planet,” Ross said.

“We’re going to make a significantly greater investment overall [in ad spending] and particularly in mobile,” said Lauren Flaherty, chief marketing officer at Nortel. “It makes total sense to be in those media that demonstrate our capabilities.”

Said added, “We’ve done pretty limited international marketing before. Now we’re trying to ramp up and leverage Nortel’s global presence. Our plan includes a total reinvigoration. It will be highly focused, highly measurable and highly targeted.”

Ross said the work would include an integrated mix of CRM, nontraditional, digital and offline. “That’s one of the reasons they wanted to work with us, for our global branding expertise as well as the ability to deliver the brand in new ways,” he said.

McCann’s San Francisco office is best known for its Microsoft campaigns.