Microsoft dumps Wieden and consolidates with McCanns

- Wieden & Kennedy's five-year relationship with Microsoft is at an end after the software giant consolidated all its business into the San Francisco office of McCann-Erickson this week.

- Wieden & Kennedy's five-year relationship with Microsoft is at an end after the software giant consolidated all its business into the San Francisco office of McCann-Erickson this week.

The move -- tipped by Campaign -- comes just weeks after McCanns was assigned the key, $50 million task of launching Microsoft's next major software upgrade, Windows 2000. This left Wieden with the flagship $100 million brand advertising account -- but that, too, has now been switched into McCanns.

McCanns made a joint pitch for the Windows account with sister Interpublic Group agency, Anderson & Lembke, and is understood to have made a play for the brand work during that presentation. The two are now merging their San Francisco offices, which will be renamed McCann-Erickson/A& L. Even before the Windows win, A&L handled $100 million in product advertising.

Bob Herbold, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Microsoft, said: "With our decision to step up our focus on TV business advertising, as well as continue our work on the corporate image side, it became clear that moving to a unified advertising strategy with a single agency would best address our overall marketing needs."

The appointment is unlikely to affect Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper's six year hold on the UK account. The agency recently extended its grip on the business into Europe (Campaign, 23 April) and Chris Pinnington, the Euro RSCG managing director, said: "Microsoft's business model is to allow individual countries autonomy, so I expect we will work with McCanns as we worked with Wieden & Kennedy."

Microsoft tends to source its TV advertising from its US agency, with print work developed by local agencies.

Wieden's tenure included the launch of Windows 95 and Microsoft's first global campaign, which introduced the "Where do you want to go today" tagline.

It is expected that the line will now go the way of the agency that coined it as McCanns develops a fresh campaign and a new direction.

In a statement, Dan Wieden, president and chief creative officer of Wieden & Kennedy, said: "Our relationship has been intense, filled with highs and lows, but it has run its course."



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