Microsoft has begun a review for an estimated $300 million consumer-related creative assignment. Interpublic Group’s McCann Erickson, agency of record for most of Microsoft’s business, is pitching. One other shop believed to be among the contenders is MDC’s Crispin Porter & Bogusky.
“We are soliciting input from various agencies, including McCann Erickson, for a new upcoming consumer-oriented assignment,” a Microsoft spokesman said, adding, “It doesn’t affect any current assignments.”
Media for this new assignment would be handled by Universal McCann, the spokesman said.
Microsoft, which spent more than $912 million on marketing last year, ranks No. 45 in Advertising Age’s list of Leading National Advertisers. Most of that outlay has been held by McCann, which counts the software giant as its leading global client.
This marks the second time in recent months that Microsoft has begun to hold reviews for pieces of work. It recently held a pitch for its Zune music player and moved the business from 72andSunny to a McCann’s TAG unit in San Francisco.
Although details of the proposed project were not immediately available, it is believed that the campaign will attempt to help Microsoft improve its image. When asked if it would be a way to get back at the popular Mac vs PC campaign from Apple with its unflattering portrayal of Microsoft, one executive familiar with the situation said, “It may be.”
Microsoft hoped to keep the review under the radar, the executive said.