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Vonage Taps JWT for Creative and Horizon for Media

Budget for 2013 To Be $150 Million

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Vonage has shifted its $150 million creative and media duties from Omnicom agencies to WPP's JWT and independent Horizon, Ad Age has learned.

Roth & Associates supported the search.

The New Jersey-based global communications company hired Omnicom's PHD and TBWA/Chiat/Day in 2009. At the beginning of the recent review, the company said in a statement that both incumbents had been invited to participate in the process. And both made it to the finals.

Media-agency finalists included Horizon, PHD and WPP's Mindshare. Creative finalists included JWT, TBWA/Chiat/Day and Havas Worldwide. JWT and Horizon referred calls to the client. Vonage and PHD didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Last October, the company said that the review wouldn't impact the company's Hispanic marketing or direct-mail efforts. Vox Profero handles Hispanic; direct mail is handled by The Agency inside Harte Hanks.

In 2011, Vonage spent $132 million on measured media in the U.S., up about 10% from 2010, according to Kantar Media. According to people familiar with the matter, the budget for 2013 will be around $150 million, and the agencies will support a new brand-positioning push for the company.

The agency shakeup comes as the company is trying to expand into new markets, and shortly in the wake of it bringing on a new top marketer. Vonage named Barbara Goodstein its CMO last summer, replacing Scott Ballantyne, who left to join Fab.com after a year on the job.

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