Diana Marszalek 06 Mar 2020 // 1:16PM GMT
SANTA CLARA, CA — Two of the three WPP PR agencies on Intel’s global roster — H+K Strategies and Ogilvy — are out of the running in the tech giant’s ongoing North American PR agency review, PRovoke Media has learned.
BCW, whose tech agency AxiCom handles the Intel account, has advanced, as have at least two other firms, according to sources. The latest round of presentations are scheduled for this week, they said.
Intel, which has an extensive list of agency partners, asked its trio of WPP firms to participate in the pitch individually, rather than as a holding company teams, individuals familiar with the process said. Currently, AxiCom, as well as Zeno and Ketchum, are among Intel’s primary agencies in North America. The company retains a blended WPP team featuring H+K Strategies in EMEA and Ogilvy in Asia-Pacific.
The brief being pitched covers North America although it may impact other regions as well, according to sources.
The review comes as Intel positions itself as a player in furthering innovations such as AI and autonomous vehicles. Last year, the company grew its social media efforts to make its support of cutting-edge technology better known among influencers and media in the tech space.
It also comes amid significant changes in Intel's marketing and communications roster.
Earlier this week, the company handed the bulk of its global creative business, worth approximately $1.4bn, to WPP's VMLY&R, which will be supported by other agencies within the holding group.
There also have been internal changes at Intel, including new leadership in its marcomms function. In July, Claire Dixon, who had been leading VMWare’s comms, joined Intel as its chief communications officer. She replaced Laura Anderson, who left Intel after nearly two decades, and now leads communications for tech investment firm Silver Lake.
In October, Karen Walker joined Intel as CMO after 11 years at Cisco, the last five of which she served as that company’s CMO. She replaced Steve Fund, who the company dismissed the previous January.
Widely known as one of the world’s largest computer chip makers, Intel took a major reputational and financial hit, in early 2018, with news that a design flaw in its processors put users’ private information, such as security keys, passwords and files, at risk — and then the fix caused problems, too.
The company does, however, also produce a portfolio of products that enable advanced technology like AI and driverless cars. The company is keen to step up understanding of the latter initiatives, for which it remains less well known.
Neither Intel nor the WPP agencies responded to a request for comment. Earlier in the review, a spokesperson said: "Intel has confidentiality policies in place that we do not reveal who may or may not be a supplier. We do review our suppliers on a regular basis."