McCann Loses Piece of Microsoft Creative

People-Ready B-to-B Suite Moves to JWT

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NEW YORK ( -- Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann Erickson has lost a chunk of Microsoft's business, with the software giant confirming that creative duties for one of its business-to-business segments would move to WPP Group's JWT.

JWT will now helm the creative work for People-Ready, a business-solutions suite of products for which total billings are in the neighborhood of $100-$150 million, executives close to the matter said.

Ready for 'next level'
"After nearly two years in the market, we've decided to take our advertising campaign aimed at business customers to the next level," a statement from the Redmond, Wash.-based marketer said. "We opened up the creative review to several advertising agencies and selected JWT for the next phase of the campaign. We look forward to working with the team at JWT."

While Microsoft still calls McCann its global partner on business advertising, this loss comes after Microsoft earlier this year turned to MDC Partners' Crispin Porter & Bogusky for its forthcoming consumer-products blitz for Windows, estimated to be worth $300 million or more in billings.

For the People-Ready business, Microsoft was in recent weeks back out on Madison Avenue, talking to a number of agencies including incumbent McCann Erickson and Fallon, according to executives close to the matter. Agency spokespeople either could not be immediately reached or referred calls to Microsoft.

Eggs in many baskets
In its statement, Microsoft noted that "in this rapidly changing media and business climate, Microsoft is committed to remaining agile and partnering with a range of media and marketing leaders to deliver results."

Universal McCann continues to be responsible for media buying worldwide, and MRM Worldwide continues to oversee direct marketing and relationship marketing.