Intel chooses McCann as agency of record

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Intel Corp. has named Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann Worldgroup as its global brand marketing agency of record, ending a six-month review that began in September. The account is estimated at hundreds of millions of dollars, although Intel would not comment on the exact budget.

The incumbent on the account was Euro RSCG Worldwide, which was initially involved in the review but pulled out in January.

Other agencies that competed were WPP Group and Omnicom Group.

McCann Worldgroup's agencies will be responsible for all global brand and advertising development, media planning and buying, and Internet marketing.

McCann Erickson, New York, will serve as the lead creative agency on the account, and Universal McCann will oversee media planning and buying.

McCann relationship agency MRM Partners and online agency R/GA will provide additional support.

The win, however, did not come without a cost to McCann. In January, former McCann Erickson client Advanced Micro Devices put its account in review after learning that McCann was going after rival chipmaker Intel's business. AMD's account is estimated at $30 million.

Other McCann b-to-b clients include Microsoft Corp., Avaya, Staples, Applied Materials and Agilent Technologies.

"The agency will help us play a key role in articulating our message as we continue to focus on developing complete technology platforms," said Claudine Mangano, an Intel spokeswoman. She said it is too soon to comment on when new advertising would roll out.

"B-to-b continues to be important for us," Mangano said, noting that marketing budgets would be determined by the business opportunity.

New advertising and marketing are expected to be in line with Intel's focus on developing complete platform-based solutions incorporating microprocessors, chipsets, communications chips and software.

Intel's first platform-based technology was Centrino mobile technology, introduced in 2003 with a major campaign called "Unwired," developed by Euro RSCG.

At the time Centrino was rolled out, Intel said it would be spending $300 million to support the product launch.

In January, Intel announced a reorganization to support its efforts to develop complete technology platforms for the enterprise, home, health care and mobile markets.

Under the reorganization, Intel created new business units, including mobility, digital enterprise, digital home, digital health and channel products groups.

Michael McLaren, exec VP-director of global accounts at McCann Worldgroup, also said it was too early to talk about specific advertising or marketing strategies for Intel.

He said the agency was briefed on one project as part of its assignment during the review, but it still needs to be fully briefed on all the components of Intel's marketing and business strategy.

"Clearly, the alignment around the digital home, digital enterprise and mobility platform will be a key strategic building block," McLaren said. "The goal is to create integrated communications, utilizing all of the resources at our disposal." M

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