Droga5, which had been working with Motorola since 2012, resigned the account. "Our business has changed significantly since Droga5 was first appointed and they decided that they were no longer the best fit for us," said a Motorola spokeswoman.
According to people familiar with the matter, there was no pitch between Ogilvy and Droga5. These people also said that Droga5's relationship with the client had been fraying for some time, including after Lenovo bought Motorola. The strain, they said, was exacerbated when Adrienne Hayes, Motorola's chief marketing officer recently left. Ms. Hayes originally joined Motorola in May 2013, when the handset maker was still owned by Google. One year later, she was named top marketer.
The Motorola spokeswoman said that Jan Huckfeldt, formerly VP-Europe, Middle East & Africa at Lenovo, has been named as a replacement. (According to his LinkedIn page, he became CMO this month.)
WPP's VML is Motorola's North American agency of record, and according to people familiar with the matter that account is not affected by the move. Grey has also handled Motorola some work globally for Motorola, though a Grey spokesman said that the agency has not been working with the brand "anywhere in a meaningful way" since Ms. Hayes left.
For Ogilvy, this marks a return to Motorola. The agency was well known for its work earlier in the 2000s for products like the Razr. Ogilvy won the global account for Motorola in 2000.
Ogilvy came to Motorola through its involvement with Lenovo, which announced it would buy Motorola in January 2014. Ogilvy handles Lenovo overseas, mostly in China. DLKW Lowe works with the brand elsewhere.
Representatives for Ogilvy did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Motorola spokeswoman also did not immediately respond to a request regarding Ogilvy's new assignment.
Motorola has lagged in the U.S. for some time when it comes to the smartphone market. Apple has long dominated the market with a 43.9% market share as of February 2016, according to comScore. Samsung is No. 2 with 28.4% share, followed by LG, which has 9.7% . Motorola is No. 4 with 4.8% share.
In the global smartphone market, according to IDC, Lenovo had been No. 4 (including Motorola) in terms of phones shipped. However, the research firm said in April that it, and No. 5, Xiaomi, had recently been pushed out of those slots as lesser-known Chinese brands took their place in the first quarter of 2016. Globally, Samsung is still No. 1 and Apple is No. 2. IDC said the overall smartphone market was relatively flat as the market matures in many developed countries.
Lenovo in 2015 spent about $71 million on U.S. measured media in 2015, according to Kantar Media. That figure includes Motorola. In 2014, it spent significantly more on measured media, with about $103 million being allocated to the U.S.
Droga5's loss of Motorola, will be at least somewhat mitigated by the U.S. Pizza Hut account, which it won earlier this week. The agency could not immediately be reached for comment.