Computer Giant Splits From Interpublic

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NEW YORK ( -- Dell Computer Corp., Round Rock, Texas, consolidated its estimated
$200 million U.S. account at Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide, Chicago.

A DDB spokeswoman confirmed the move late today but declined further comment. People close to the review said DDB's Chicago office will handle creative; sibling OMD, New York, will manage media.

Dell is splitting with Interpublic Group of Cos.' Lowe Lintas & Partners, New York, which handled the Home & Small Business division. DDB also picks up the corporate brand account that had been handled by Omnicom sibling BBDO Worldwide, New York. A Lowe Lintas spokesman said he was unaware of the decision when contacted late today. Dell could not be reached late today.

New business teams for DDB, Lowe Lintas and a third contender, True North Communications' Temerlin McClain, Dallas, were said to be in Round Rock on April 6 making final bids.

Big loss for Lowe Lintas
The loss is a big blow for Lowe Lintas. The agency handled the Home & Small Business division for more than two years and, when BBDO's corporate assignment went into review in February, made a concerted play to win the consolidated account.

Dell is the second big recent tech win for DDB, following its New York office's December win of Philips Electronics; DDB split that estimated $600 million account with Bcom3 Group's D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, New York.

DDB's Dell win comes one year after Dell's Texas rival, Compaq Computer Corp., moved its then-estimated $350 million account from DDB to True North's FCB Worldwide, New York.