The pitch -- which was led by Arra Yerganian, chief marketing officer at Apollo Group's University of Phoenix -- came after the school split with San Francisco-based agency Pereira & O' Dellafter a three-year run.
At the time, Mr. Yerganian told Ad Age that he was "reaching out to upward of 20 to 25 agencies" small and large, nationwide. "I'm not predisposed to a particular size," he added. "We want an agency that has a soul and understands the mission-critical nature of the work we do. There are some fantastic agencies we could work with, and we're conducting meetings over the next several weeks and months and will probably have this process wrapped up by May."
The process concluded on schedule, which is atypical in adland.
'Arnold Worldwide has been on a new-business roll, picking up work for American Eagle Outfitters and Kohler. The University of Phoenix account will be handled out of Arnold 's Boston headquarters. It will be responsible for integrated marketing duties, including TV, print, out-of -home and digital. The first projects are expected to break in the fall.
"Today, our role in educating Americans is more important than ever," the University of Phoenix told Ad Age in a statement. "Although the rate of unemployment is unacceptably high ... there are in fact nearly four million jobs open right now in America. The challenge employers face is finding skilled, well-trained applicants for these jobs. We believe University of Phoenix can help, by linking the education we provide to careers that Americans need. Arnold Worldwide proved that it fundamentally understands this challenge, and has the talent and capability to help advance our goals. We are truly excited to see what we'll accomplish together."
The review was highly competitive. "While Arnold was the clear choice, the decision process was not easy," the University of Phoenix said. "We narrowed the field to three agencies -- Arnold , Campbell Ewald L.A. and Muhtayzik Hoffer -- each of which brought truly brilliant and insightful ideas to the table. The truth is we'd be lucky to partner with any of these three firms. In the end, the team from Arnold demonstrated a superior understanding of our mission and --importantly -- their thinking resonated most closely with our strategic vision for the university."
Pam Hamlin, president of Arnold Boston, said in a statement: "Adult education is a fast-growing market, and University of Phoenix is the largest in the category. ... There's a real opportunity to further separate University of Phoenix from the competition through a smart, creative and fully integrated campaign that highlights the benefits of higher education and connects adults to real career opportunities."