Microsoft awards WE mobile business

SEATTLE: Microsoft has selected Waggener Edstrom and an advertising firm to work collaboratively on its mobile communications business.

SEATTLE: Microsoft has selected Waggener Edstrom and an advertising firm to work collaboratively on its mobile communications business.

WE previously worked on the mobile communications business before losing the account to Weber Shandwick five years ago. WE and ad firm Wexley School for Girls will fully transition into the business on July 1, said Tom Pilla, GM of Microsoft corporate communications.

The win follows a competitive pitch with incumbent WS and Edelman, Pilla noted.

The scope of the work includes its Windows Mobile business, the Windows phones, and the Windows software that runs on these devices. Pilla declined to state the budget.

“[WE] knows our business very well and has demonstrated success on many other businesses of the company,” Pilla said, adding that all three pitching firms will continue their work on other parts of Microsoft's business.

Although WE will serve as the lead agency on the business, it opted to partner with Wexley for the pitch because of previous work the two agencies have done together under Microsoft's direction.

“What was clear to [both agencies] is coming together at the end wasn't the most efficient way of doing things,” said Frank Shaw, president of WE's Microsoft business. “So we decided [to initiate] a partnership at the beginning.”

Shaw noted that Wexley helps to enhance WE's community building capabilities.

Brian Marr, MD for Wexley, said the agency would not have pitched the business independent of WE, but will bring expertise in creating content that appeals to younger audiences to the partnership.

Tim Fry, WS Microsoft client leader, said about the account loss, “We've been a long-time partner with Microsoft and have brought broad engagement across multiple business groups and we expect that to continue.”

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