SANTA CLARA—Technology specialist Bite Communications and midsized New Jersey-based firm MWW Group have won the high-profile shoot out for the $10 million Sun Microsystems account. They beat out incumbents Citigate Cunningham and Fleishman-Hillard (which withdrew from the pitch after being named a finalist) and challenger Ruder Finn.
Bite will serve as the anchor agency for Sun, reeling in about 75 percent of the company’s business and working on corporate communications, product public relations and analyst relations. Sun is planning a campaign to target potential customers among the Fortune 500, as well as a celebration of 10 years of Java software that will be targeted at developers.
But the MWW portion of the business will be a significant seven-figure account, and the firm will work to position the brand and enhance the company’s corporate image.
Additionally, MWW will craft and lead a program to support key global issues platforms for Sun Microsystems executives while providing corporate counsel, strategic philanthropy, issues management, financial and investor relations, M&A and crisis communications support. MWW will also manage media relations for Sun Labs, the applied research and advanced development arm of the company.
The pitch generated some controversy because of Sun’s use of “dynamic bidding,” which forces firms to submit bids online, with the lowest bid continually displayed in an attempt to encourage lower bids. Critics suggested the approach—which works well for commodity products and services—was ill-suited to purchasing value-added services such as PR.