Microsoft will meet with several agencies: West Coast shops are set to pitch the company’s $22-million account

Software giant Microsoft has agreed to meet with several West Coast agencies interested in pitching its estimated $22-million print and broadcast account, according to sources at those shops. Microsoft has been at Ogilvy & Mather/ L.A. since 1988. There are also reports of upheaval in Microsoft’s direct marketing unit, handled by Ogilvy & Mather Direct/ West.
Regarding the general market account, Microsoft director of corporate communications Mike Delman firmly denied that any meetings are scheduled. He also said that Microsoft executives do meet with other agencies from time to time when approached, and that the process doesn’t indicate any dissatisfaction with agency-of-record Ogilvy. For its part, Ogilvy & Mather/L.A. managing director Jerry McGee said there O&M has received assurances from the client that the relationship is secure.
Agency sources said that Delman and Microsoft vp/marketing Gary Gigot, both of whom were formerly at O&M, are loyal to the agency. But while they appear satisfied with the shop’s work, their superiors appear open to new thinking. Sources have said that Microsoft Direct executives have been unhappy with staffmg support on the account and about a lack of coordination between O&M and O&M Direct. Delman denied reports that Ogilvy & Mather Direct/West’s relationship with Microsoft’s direct marketing unit, which bills at least as much as the general market account, may be in jeopardy.
Some analysts feel that two years of FTC investigations into alleged Microsoft violations of restraint of trade and monopoly laws present the company with an image problem that may need to be addressed through advertising. “Microsoft would perhaps like to play down its monopolistic image,” said Bill Kesseiring, software analyst with Dataquest, San Jose, Calif.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)