World’s No 2 cellphone maker, Motorola, is planning to give the Omnicom Group-owned agency network control of its $100 million-a-year advertising account, according to executives familiar with the situation.
Highly anticipated phone
BBDO is to handle account management, distribution and some creative duties, including next week’s launch of the Motorola Rokr, the highly anticipated new phone loaded with Apple iTunes software, according to the executives.
Motorola will continue to draw creative ideas from a range of shops, as has been its recent strategy.
The move is expected to be a deathblow to Ogilvy & Mather’s long-slackening grip on the high-profile account. This spring, Motorola handed an undisclosed branding assignment to independent Amsterdam 180 amid speculation that Chief Marketing Officer Geoffrey Frost was dissatisfied with the WPP Group agency’s work. Ogilvy recently broke several new spots for the Razr phone.
Motorola consolidated its creative account at Ogilvy in 2000.
A BBDO spokesman declined comment. An Ogilvy spokeswoman referred calls to Motorola. A spokeswoman for the marketer declined to comment on what she called “rumour.”
BBDO’s Rokr spots
Despite media reports to the contrary, the Rokr spots have been created by BBDO, and not Ogilvy. The phone launches on September 7 and will operate on the Cingular network, a BBDO client. BBDO’s spots for Motorola features Madonna and Iggy Pop, and the marketer has been in negotiations with rapper 50 Cent. The tagline is “How many musicians can you get in a phone booth?”
For BBDO, the win comes hot on the heels of a major Omnicom victory in which the agency played a crucial role. This week, Omnicom picked up Bank of America’s marketing with help from BBDO, which is expected to handle creative for the nation’s second-largest bank.
It extends a strong new-business story that also includes recent wins of Mitsubishi, eBay, Levitra and E-Trade.