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
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
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