Microsoft Consolidates

Rest of U.S. Account Goes to McCann/A&L
SAN FRANCISCO – Just weeks after winning the $50-100 million Windows ad business, McCann-Erickson/A&L has hit the Microsoft jackpot. Last week, the company shifted its corporate image account to the shop, ending a five-year relationship with Wieden & Kennedy.
McCann/A&L, which will complete its merger by Aug. 1, now handles all of Microsoft’s $230 million domestic ad duties, after an attempt to capture the client’s entire global business [Adweek, May 10].
“I would hope that if there is material developed here in the States that has applications in different parts of the world that they would feel comfortable using it. But for sure, this was a U.S.A.-only situation,” said John Dooner, the chairman and chief executive officer of McCann-Erickson, headquartered in New York.
Microsoft executives vice president and chief operating officer Bob Herbold said the move from Wieden was prompted by Microsoft’s desire to have one shop as “keeper of the overall template for advertising.” It will allow all of Microsoft’s work in the U.S. to have a “common look and feel,” he added.
Added duties will put a spotlight on the newly merged shop and on Nick Bishop, named chief executive officer.
Herbold said McCann/A&L’s TV ads will put a greater focus on business customers. Other image work will be more “traditional,” he added.
Ads from Wieden, Portland, Ore., have painted Microsoft as an educational tool. The latest TV work shows how Microsoft products can help small businesses work better. Wieden created the “Where do you want to go today?” tagline.
“Our relationship has been intense, filled with highs and lows, but it has run its course,” Dan Wieden, the shop’s president and chief creative officer, said in a statement.
– with Richard Linnett