IPG, WPP Finalists in Dell Review

Computer Giant Aims to Consolidate $760 Million Account at Single Holding Company

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- The competition for Dell's $760 million advertising account is down to two holding companies: WPP Group and Interpublic Group of Cos., according to executives familiar with the review.
The Dell business is one of the most desirable to go up for grabs in years.
The Dell business is one of the most desirable to go up for grabs in years.

Final pitches are set to take place in three weeks at the computer company's headquarters in Round Rock, Texas, executives said.

War of the holding companies
News of Dell's review sparked an all-out holding-company war, with Omnicom Group, Publicis Groupe and Havas also competing to consolidate the account within their networks.

The Dell business is one of the most desirable to go up for grabs in years, even though the computer maker is asking the holding companies to create a client-specific structure to accommodate it. Revenue for the winning holding company has been estimated at $90 to $100 million.

A number of agencies currently work on Dell's massive account. Mother, an independent shop based in New York, currently handles creative on a project basis for Dell's Inspiron laptop, and Aegis' Carat handles media buying and planning in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Omnicom's DDB, Chicago, handles enterprise marketing and business-to-business duties, sibling Prometheus handles media duties in North America and Interpublic's MRM handles direct marketing.

Calls to Dell were not returned by press time. Spokespeople for the holding companies either declined comment or couldn't be reached by press time.