Northrop in Review

Northrop Grumman Corp. is in the midst of a creative and media review following its acquisition of Litton Industries. Northrop, a global aerospace and defense company, has worked with BBDO West for approximately eight years.

“Because of the acquisition, there’s a review of all of our resources that we have in-house and out-of-house,” said Northrop spokesman Randy Belote.

He added that the wider range of products and services “requires a stable of vendors with a knowledge base in a greater number of areas,” including nonnuclear shipbuilding and systems, defense and commercial electronics and aircraft manufacturing.

Northrop has been spending $3-4 million a year on advertising through BBDO but is re-evaluating that moving forward, Belote said.

The client, based in Century City, Calif., is currently entertaining proposals from a select number of agencies, including BBDO, as part of a closed review, Belote said. BBDO West president and CEO Tom Hollerbach declined to comment.

Belote declined to discuss the names or number of agencies under consideration, although he said the search is national and a decision is “imminent.” The company is conducting the review without using an outside consultant.

The account had been serviced from BBDO’s Los Angeles office.

Northrop Grumman currently has more than $15 billion in sales, operations in 44 states and 24 countries and 80,000 employees.

Separately, BBDO in New York is preparing what sources characterize as a last-ditch, make-or-break creative presentation to FedEx, an estimated $85 million account.

Phil Dusenberry, chairman of BBDO North America, dismissed notions that the account was in trouble. A client rep would only say, “We do have an existing contractual relationship with [BBDO].”