Updated: New TBWA\C\D President Faces Tough Challenge

Vonage, a big N.Y. office account, launches review

That was a short honeymoon.

Robert Harwood-Matthews, who started this week as the new president of the New York office of TBWA\Chiat\Day, now must help defend one of the office's largest accounts: Vonage, with annual revenue estimated at $10 million.

At least he'll have company. Beyond the creative business at TBWA\C\D, Vonage also is reviewing its media business, now handled by PHD. Both shops are part of Omnicom Group and have worked on the brand since 2009.

Vonage, a significant player in the online phone service category, is planning separate but parallel pitches for its creative and media accounts. Roth Associates in New York is managing the process, which is expected to be completed in January, a Vonage representative confirmed.

The company's Hispanic marketing business and direct mail responsibilities are not in play and remain at Vox Profero and The Agency Inside Harte-Hanks, respectively, the rep added.

Vonage's media spending exceeded $150 million last year and $84 million in the first half of 2012, according to Nielsen. Those figures don't include online spending.

Key decision-makers in the review include new chief marketing officer Barbara Goodstein, vp of marketing Leesa Eichberger, and, of course, CEO Marc Lefar.

Goodstein, the former marketing chief at Axa Equitable, joined the company in July. She worked at Axa from 2005 until 2010. Before that, she was an svp at JPMorgan Chase.

Vonage's search is in its early stages, with requests for proposals due back from interested agencies in the next two weeks, according to sources.