Siebel Puts Account in Play Again

McCann Relationship Lasts Just 6 Months
LOS ANGELES–Business software company Siebel Systems has split with its agency of six months and begun a review to find a new one, said sources.
McCann-Erickson, which won the account in May, resigned it a few weeks ago, according to agency executives. They declined to say why, although sources said they found the San Mateo, Calif., client “difficult.” The agency’s New York and San Francisco offices, which had jointly handled the business, were unable to get any work approved, sources said.
Soon after winning Siebel, the shop won Microsoft’s $230 million consolidated domestic ad account, and sources said Siebel may have felt dwarfed next to the software giant on McCann’s roster.
Siebel recently brought in Andrew Salzman, formerly of Compaq, to serve as vice president of worldwide advertising, brand strategy. He and ad manager Melissa Bromberg are leading the search for a new shop.
Ad spending was initially put at $20-30 million, but sources said shops are now being told $50 million.
Finalists in the spring review were Euro RSCG DSW Partners, Salt Lake City, and J. Walter Thompson, San Francisco, which pitched with incumbent Dazai Advertising, San Jose, Calif. It was unclear if those shops were invited to the current review. A decision is expected by early next year.
–with Richard Linnet