NEW YORK—WPP Group has won out over rival Interpublic following a seven-month contest between the giant communications holding companies for Dell’s three-year, $4.5 billion integrated marketing account, giving incumbent public relations firm GCI Group a good chance of holding on to one of its largest clients.
WPP will now begin to build an agency with a team of more than 1,000 pulled from across its advertising, public relations, and other marketing units to serve the computer company on a global basis. Dell’s Bob Pearson says the company will search all of WPP’s firms to pull in the best talent it can find, but told the Austin American-Statesman, “Obviously, GCI already has a great relationship with us.”
Dell and WPP will “jointly develop what we hope is the greatest agency in the world,” according to Casey Jones, vice president of global marketing at Dell, who says the two companies will develop a “nontraditional relationship… to achieve marketing objectives of Dell’s that are simply not achievable either with our current roster of agencies or with a patchwork quilt of shops stitched together.”
Dell had been working with more than 800 different marketing firms around the world.
The new Dell agency will be given its own name and will also have the opportunity to work with other clients in non-competing areas. It will also be able to draw on the capabilities outside of the WPP family as needed.
”We’re delighted by the appointment and we think it’s an endorsement of our geographic and functional strategy,” WPP CEO Martin Sorrell told Advertising Age. “Dell’s needs are very much in line with our capabilities.”