Motorola Considers 3 for Media

Motorola’s efforts to consolidate its marketing activities continues with three media shops vying for the media buying and planning portion of the company’s $400 million global account.

The contenders, which received proposal requests from Motorola in late December, are the WPP Group’s Mindshare, the Interpublic Group of Co.’s Initiative Media, and incumbent Universal McCann, also part of IPG.

While Universal McCann is currently Motorola’s lead media agency, the business is also spread among several other companies.

The media agency competition is the latest review Motorola has undertaken in the past year that is aimed at consolidating advertising strategy.

The Schaumburg, Ill.-based maker of electronics and communications equipment in July placed the creative portion of its account with Ogilvy & Mather’s New York office following a review. When that review ended, the decision was made to review global media buying and planning, a Motorola representative said.

At the time of the creative review, Jocelyn Carter-Miller, Motorola’s chief marketing officer, said the company was looking for an agency that could provide a “One Motorola” concept into a seamless global strategy for the multifaceted firm.

Ogilvy, which before the review handled Motorola’s direct and interactive business, bested Motorola’s incumbent lead agency, McCann-Erickson, and Leo Burnett, which handled the company’s semiconductor advertising, to take home the business.

Also last year, Motorola chose Hill & Knowlton, also a unit of WPP, as its global strategic public relations consultancy.

Some insiders suggested the WPP connection could give MindShare the edge in the media review. “They already have a working relationship and synergy,” a source said.

Executives from the three agencies will meet with Motorola officials later this month. A winner is expected in early March.

The review comes as Motorola continues to wade through tough financial times, with a downturn in cell phone sales leading to predictions of flat sales for the year’s first quarter.