McCann Worldgroup Wins AOL Assignment

How to avoid conflict with Microsoft?

McCann Worldgroup has won a project from AOL although it’s unclear how the business will be managed to avoid conflict issues with Microsoft at twofifteenmccann, sources said.

“It’s a hot potato at the moment,” said one source. “Can they take it? Where should they put it? Is it going to create a problem?”

The Interpublic shop bested two other undisclosed agencies to land the digital CRM assignment, which could lead to an expanded role on the brand. Worldgroup chief Nick Brien led the AOL effort.

Some sources speculate that Brien is working on a way to handle the assignment within Worldgroup or IPG to avoid any Microsoft conflicts. Twofifteenmccann’s Microsoft Xbox advertising is some of McCann’s most high-profile and award-winning work. The San Francisco-based offshoot agency is the global creative lead on Xbox and works in partnership with McCann Erickson’s international network.

McCann and twofifteenmccann did not return calls for comment; AOL reps also did not respond to Adweek's calls.

In 2011, AOL spent just over $2 million on measured media, according to Nielsen. That amount does not include digital marketing or b-to-b advertising. In recent years, AOL has worked with a number of agencies on a project basis.