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Ogilvy Set to Win CDW Account

Tech Giant Will Be Chicago Office's Biggest Victory in Years

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Ogilvy & Mather, Chicago, is poised to land tech behemoth CDW's consolidated advertising and marketing services account.

The WPP-owned shop is in the process of finalizing contract details with the $8 billion tech marketer, and people familiar with the matter said it is the only shop remaining in talks with CDW following a review for the business. Spokespeople for CDW and Ogilvy declined to comment.

Ogilvy previously handled some digital and direct-marketing chores for CDW, which it stood to lose in this pitch, but will now be looking at a significantly expanded set of responsibilities for the retailer, which specializes in offering technology sales and services to businesses, governments and schools.

Other agencies that participated in the review were Interpublic Group of Cos.' Martin Agency, Richmond, Va.; Omnicom Group's DDB, Chicago; and WPP's JWT, Atlanta, which was the creative incumbent.

Ogilvy and its affiliates will handle creative, media, direct, digital, PR and promotional efforts for CDW, which spent $88 million in measured media last year, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

It's the Chicago office's biggest win in years, and it likely adds up to billings that may surpass Unilever as the office's biggest account.

And it's potentially more satisfying for Ogilvy because it comes on the heels of May's defection from the office by Kraft Foods' Oscar Mayer brand, which went to McGarryBowen. That loss prompted the Chicago Sun-Times to call for the firing of President Jack Rooney and Chief Creative Officer Joe Sciarrotta, but this news likely has agency brass feeling relieved it didn't heed that advice.

Ogilvy's apparent victory concludes a marathon review that kicked off in late February. At the time a CDW spokesman said he expected it to conclude in May. But the review experienced several stops and starts that now have it flirting with September.

Ogilvy, Chicago, also handles work for BP, Cargill and the Chicago Blackhawks hockey team, and it handles digital assignments for Allstate and the city of Chicago's 2016 Olympics push.

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Rupal Parekh contributed to this report.

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