Young & Rubicam, New York, has been given the assignment to handle the estimated $100 million relaunch of Andersen Consulting in 2001, according to a spokeswoman at the consultancy.
Y&R is the agency of record for the Chicago-based consulting group, which spent approximately $80 million last year on measured advertising. The new campaign will more than double the ad budget at the agency; the effort will introduce a re-monikered company to the world.
The assignment is an integrated campaign being led by Chris Goodman, managing director at Y&R Advertising. Mr. Goodman will coordinate the agency's various units, including Y&R's strategic design shop, Landor & Associates, San Francisco, which is crafting Andersen Consulting's new logo. Other Y&R shops involved in the project are Impiric for direct marketing, the Media Edge for media buying and planning, and Burson-Marsteller for public relations.
"These efforts are part of a comprehensive, integrated marketing communications plan that will dramatically enhance awareness of the new positioning and renaming of our business," said a statement on Andersen's Web site about the rebranding.
Andersen has run advertising modifying already existing work in a teaser effort to prepare consumers for the upcoming name change.
Current creative features the logo on TV and in print, including an ad that appears regularly in The Wall Street Journal. Airport advertising features the company logo being torn in half. "Renamed. Redefined. Reborn. 01.01.01" reads the latest ad copy. Andersen ads push the notion that the company will not just be renamed, it will be reborn. This transitional campaign is not part of the official relaunch.
Andersen Consulting is the world's largest consulting company with reported 1999 revenue of $8.2 billion. It was founded in 1989 as an offshoot of accounting firm Arthur Andersen. In 1994, Arthur Andersen again began doing consulting work and Andersen Consulting sued for a divorce, alleging that Arthur Andersen violated a guarantee not to compete.
ARBITRATION COURT RULING
In August, a ruling by the International Court of Arbitration, Paris, determined that Andersen Consulting could separate from Arthur Andersen, but the consulting unit was required to give up its name by 2001.
The court prohibited Andersen Consulting from using the Andersen name or any derivation of it. The ruling also stops the company from using the famous AC logo.
According to an Andersen Consulting spokeswoman, the company most likely will not even refer to itself as a consulting company.
"Andersen Consulting has been saying for a long time now that they want to do more than just consulting," said Joshua Randall, an analyst with Kennedy Information Research Group. "They've set up an incubator, and they are making investments in related areas." Mr. Randall suggested they may choose a name that reflects this Internet/Silicon Alley connection.
The company itself initiated a program among employees, called "Brand Storming," to generate a name. "They had tremendous participation by employees," said Fred Norwich, managing director at Burson-Marsteller. "Some of these names are pretty good. Landor used them as part of their big trawl, for their first round of names. It's a fascinating branding challenge."
Copyright September 2000, Crain Communications Inc.