|The Motorola titanium Razr cell phone has become a very hot product since its release late last year.
The review, which began as an internal efficiency, or "optimization," project, covers Motorola's global interactive marketing strategy, Web site development, online creative and relationship marketing, said Benjamin Hill, senior director for Web marketing.
Motorola spent $40.9 million in measured media in the U.S. in 2004, according to TNS Media Intelligence, the biggest share, $34 million, going toward cellular and paging equipment and systems. The marketer spent $3.2 million on corporate branding. The exact amount involved in Motorola's interactive campaigns is unknown.
Mr. Hill declined to discuss billings or the number of digital and relationship marketing shops Motorola currently works with worldwide. He also declined to indicate when a decision is expected or who the contenders were.
The three shops involved in the review are WPP Group's OgilvyOne and Wunderman, and Havas' Euro RSCG 4D, executives familiar with the situations said. Agencies either did not return calls or had no comment. The interactive review is the second piece of Motorola's marketing business to come under scrutiny this year. In early February, Motorola moved its U.S. media account to Aegis Group's Carat from Interpublic Group of Cos.' Universal McCann.
News of the review comes after months of rumors Motorola was putting its general advertising creative account, now at Ogilvy & Mather, into review. A Motorola spokeswoman, however, said "Ogilvy & Mather is our agency of record" and would not "comment on rumors." An Ogilvy spokeswoman also declined comment.
Ad assignment beyond Ogilvy
One executive involved with Motorola's advertising, however, said Ogilvy has a full slate of advertising in progress for Motorola through the end of the year, but that Geoffrey Frost, Motorola's chief brand officer, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, has indicated he will continue to talk with other agencies and creatives, possibly assigning projects just as he has in the past.
Ogilvy & Mather, which won the business in 2000l, later launched Motorola's "Moto" branding campaign, in which the word "Moto" was paired with other words, such as "HelloMoto" or "MotoControl." Most recently, Motorola was able to increase its "cool" factor, a critical element in the mobile phone marketplace, with the sale of the titanium Razr, which contributed to a 34% increase in fourth-quarter income.
iTunes compatible phone
Motorola last year announced plans to launch an iTunes-compatible cell phone in conjunction with Apple Computer. The launch, however, was delayed; some Motorola executives said there was an ongoing debate as to how to unveil the product with Apple's CEO, Steve Jobs. Mr. Jobs is known for his penchant for keeping products under wraps until the day before they hit store shelves. Other issues holding up its release range from design details, such as whether the phone can have an iPod-like dial, or how cell phone carriers will make money on songs sold over the Web.
Motorola and Sanyo already have MP3-capable cell phones. Sony Erissson Mobile Communications this year launches a Sony Walkman-branded cell phone.