Tyco Holds 2 Separate Reviews to Select Branding, Ad Partners

BOSTON Tyco International is holding two separate reviews to select agency partners for an image campaign likely to launch in the second half of the year.

Both assignments are new for the Hamilton, Bermuda-based company and there are no incumbents, said Peter Farris, vp, marketing and public affairs at the manufacturing and management conglomerate.

Ferris declined to discuss the price tag for the work now in play, but sources indicated that ad spending of at least $30-50 million is likely. Tyco spent $30 million on advertising last year, per CMR.

One of the reviews, for a branding specialist to help Tyco hone its overall image, is entering the late stages, Ferris said, though he declined to elaborate.

Pitching, sources said, are: independent Enterprise IG; Marsh & McLellan-owned Lippincott Mercer; Omnicom shops Interbrand and Wolff Olins; and IPG-owned Futurebrand; all in New York; and WPP’s Landor Associates, San Francisco. A cut to finalists is imminent, sources said.

Tyco is also in “preliminary discussions with a select group of agencies” to handle creative and media placement, Ferris said. The client has held discussions with a dozen large shops primarily located in the northeast, sources said. A cut to 6-8 semifinalists is expected in the next month, sources said. Decisions in both reviews are scheduled for mid-year.

The searches were launched to “unlock the strong equity within our product brands” and unify the company’s many units under one umbrella positioning, Ferris said.

Ferris was careful not to link the agency searches with the various controversies surrounding the company. Sources said Tyco — led by new CEO Edward Breen — is seeking to reinvent itself in the marketplace and improve its standing with Wall Street through the upcoming campaign, believing a complete image overhaul is needed in light of the scandals.

Tyco’s shares at press-time were trading on the NYSE at $12.58. The 52-week high was $35; the low $6.98.