Motorola Calls It Off

Motorola’s $150 million global media review, on hold for weeks, has finally been called off by the troubled company, which said it would stay with its existing lineup.

The move reminded observers of MCI Worldcom’s placing its $75 million review on hold late last year, three months after it was launched. MCI cited economic conditions, and the review was ultimately scrapped.

“We feel it’s not the right time to do anything,” said Rachelle Frank lin, vp and director of corporate branding communications for Motor ola. “We’re going to stay the course for now.”

Franklin stressed, however, that sticking with incumbents Universal McCann and MindShare Latin America represents an “interim” decision, and indicated Motorola may revisit its media review at a later date. “It could change,” she said.

Even as the review was launched last year, executives at the competing shops were leery given the company’s well-documented financial difficulties, which have caused thousands of layoffs. None of the shops had heard anything about the review in weeks, and at least one had taken it off its active-new-business chart well before Motor ola’s official announce ment.

Franklin declined to name contenders. Known to be vying were the incumbents, with MindShare’s effort led out of its New York office, and Initiative Media in Los Angeles.

The media review followed Motor ola’s consolidation last July of creative duties with Ogilvy & Mather in New York. The bulk of the business had been split among Ogilvy, Leo Burnett in Chicago and McCann-Erickson in New York.

Spending since Ogilvy took over has dipped sharply. First-quarter domestic spending this year was $5 million, compared with $17 million last year, per CMR. Franklin acknowledged spending was down, but declined to give or verify figures.