HTW set to take on chunk of Microsoft direct work

LONDON - Harrison Troughton Wunderman is set to scoop a significant chunk of Microsoft's UK below-the-line business, following the software giant's decision to consolidate its $400m CRM task into the WPP-owned Wunderman.

Microsoft's direct marketing activity in the UK is currently split between EHS Brann, Chemistry and McCann Relationship Marketing.

MRM will continue its relationship with the company. However, Chemistry, which was appointed to the roster a year ago, and EHS Brann will lose their positions on the roster.

The global review was called in October, aimed at streamlining Microsoft's customer relationship and direct marketing activity around the world.

The UK business includes Microsoft's brands such as Xbox and MSN, as well as the branded PC software.

In a statement, Microsoft said: "Both agencies differentiated themselves in the agency selection process with complementary sets of advantages for Microsoft and will create a high-calibre agency pair for our business."

The win is a coup for WPP. The group retains the IBM account, which was previously split between HTW and OgilvyOne in the UK. IBM has been moved into OgilvyOne, also owned by WPP.

The move sees OgilvyOne add the PC business, software group and global services business previously handled by Wunderman to the IBM solutions and server group business that it already worked on.

IBM consolidated its above-the-line advertising into Ogilvy & Mather in the mid-90s. Microsoft's advertising is handled globally by McCann-Erickson.

The company is not expected to review its above-the-line account.

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