The New York-based shop, which handles Compaq in the U.S., prevailed in a review against Bates Worldwide, whose London office handles Compaq in Europe.
David Middleton, VP-marketing and communications, said Compaq and Ammirati will develop concepts and do testing over the next 60 days, and then go into production on the first single global brand campaign, using TV, print and the Web. He wouldn't discuss the campaign, but recent testing by Ammirati and Compaq of the "Change is good" theme makes it likely that will be used.
The naming of a global agency follows Compaq's creation of a central marketing group and the February hiring of Mr. Middleton, a former IBM Corp. executive.
FOLLOWING IBM'S LEAD
Compaq follows the lead of IBM Corp., Intel Corp., Gateway 2000 and other technology powers in picking a global agency.
Ammirati's victory may be only the beginning: Compaq, the world's No. 1 PC marketer, plans to drive revenues to $40 billion in the year 2000 from $18.1 billion last year, and its ad budget will have to grow to get the message out.
"We can get a level above by bringing a global look and feel to our customers," Mr. Middleton said. "Everything we do is for the customer. That is the message of the branding, and it's the message of our desire to create a global brand."
Compaq will part with European shop Bates Dorland, London, and Asia-Pacific agency Euro RSCG Ball Partnership, Hong Kong. Hakuhodo, Tokyo, which has an alliance with Ammirati, will stay on.
In an employee memo, Bates Dorland Chairman Graham Hinton said Bates staffers "have done everything they can" to keep the account, but Compaq's decision to consolidate globally and the "comfortable relationship with Lintas in the U.S." drove the decision.
The decision followed "weeks of internal debate within Compaq," said the memo. "For the team who made the pitch, it is perhaps some consolation that it was not unanimous."
Ammirati is expected to set up hubs for Compaq in London, Singapore and Tokyo,