The appointment follows a four-way pitch including Young & Rubicam, Leo Burnett Co. and MacLaren McCann, all Toronto-based. Microsoft retained Mandrake Management Consultants to help it find an agency. The incumbent, Communique, did not pitch.
Publicis will handle all branding, advertising, media, direct response and interactive marketing, with the account headquartered at Publicis' Toronto office with input from the Montreal office.
Publicis' Optimedia arm will handle the media portion of the account, with the first campaign expected to appear by April using traditional, Interactive and business-to-business media. Among the first products to be advertised will be Windows 2000, now being introduced on the market.
"Microsoft has reinvented its vision to empower people and business through great software, anytime, anywhere, and from any device," says Caroline Breton, Microsoft's manager of corporate communications and strategy.
Copyright March 2000, Crain Communications Inc.