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McCann-Erickson Worldwide has nailed what could be a $20 million-plus account from Intel Corp. and a second company for a new Internet product.

Intel and its partner are planning to announce a venture July 23 to sell an "Internet commerce systems solution" aimed at business.

The account is being handled by McCann's San Francisco office and Thunder House Online Marketing Communications, McCann's newly formed digital communications group (see story on Page 8).

The new deal represents found money for major tech media.

McCann has invited four tech-media companies-CMP Media, International Data Group, Mecklermedia and Ziff-Davis-to the agency July 16 and 17 to make capabilities presentations, primarily for business-oriented publications.

Spending is expected to be in the range of $20 million to $25 million, but could go higher given the clients' objectives, said executives close to the project.


Intel and its partner are expected to launch the product around September. The ambitious goal is to reach 75% unaided awareness among their target, said one executive familiar with plans.

Intel, McCann and Thunder House executives declined to comment. But McCann creative and media executives met at Intel's offices in Folsom, Calif., Friday to see a product demonstration.

The partner is believed to be German software powerhouse SAP, sometimes called the Microsoft of Europe.

Intel's relationship with Euro RSCG Dahlin Smith White, Salt Lake City, is considered strong on the chip giant's $150 million global account, so it wasn't known last week why Intel's new venture turned to McCann. The venture is not related to AT&T Corp., a major McCann client, an executive said.

Though the new venture doesn't appear central to Intel's mission of selling Pentium chips, there is a connection. Anything that promotes new uses for PCs supports Intel's goal to drive its chip sales by driving growth in the market.

McCann has a potential conflict: The agency's Dallas office handles Texas Instruments, a major semiconductor company.

TI last year spent $18.3 million on advertising, estimates Adscope. But half that budget disappeared this year when TI sold its PC business to Acer America.

A McCann executive said Intel and TI may not be a conflict, noting that they operate in different parts of the chip market and that Intel is a major TI customer.

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