Wieden’s hold on Microsoft under threat from McCanns

Wieden & Kennedy’s hold on one of its key international accounts, Microsoft, is under threat in the US after McCann-Erickson teamed up with its subsidiary agency, Anderson & Lembke, to pitch for the business.

Wieden & Kennedy’s hold on one of its key international accounts,

Microsoft, is under threat in the US after McCann-Erickson teamed up

with its subsidiary agency, Anderson & Lembke, to pitch for the

business.



Microsoft has already fired Wieden from its Windows account, for which

McCanns and A&L pitched last month. It is understood that their

presentation also included proposals on how the duo would handle the

entire Microsoft business, including the corporate image work which

Wieden retains.



A&L already handles Microsoft’s product advertising in the US. According

to reports in the US magazine, AdWeek, it is now proposing to link up

with the international McCann network to handle Windows and the rest of

Microsoft’s image advertising globally.



Sources suggest that Microsoft has been growing increasingly frustrated

with Wieden over the past 18 months. The software giant is said to feel

that it needs to portray itself more as a serious provider of business

solutions and less as a ’funky’ West Coast company.



The talks come as Microsoft prepares for the launch of its next major

software upgrade, Windows 2000. It is planning a massive global campaign

which is expected to reflect the increased emphasis on Microsoft’s

software as a sophisticated and essential business tool.



In Europe, Microsoft uses TV work sourced from Wieden in the US

complemented with press ads created by local agencies. The UK account is

handled by Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper.



A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed that talks with A&L about Windows

2000 were ongoing, but denied that they included global brand

advertising.