Wieden+Kennedy has parted ways with Verizon just two years after winning a portion of the telecom’s advertising business.
"We are continuously optimizing our agency roster and appreciate the work that W+K has delivered over the past two years, but have decided to mutually part ways," said Verizon in a statement. The agency couldn't immediately be reached for comment. The reason behind the split was not disclosed.
Verizon selected W+K for brand and strategy work in Jan. 2015 without a formal review, joining McCann and McGarryBowen on the telecom’s roster. McCann, which is part of the Interpublic Group, retained the FIOS account, while McGarryBowen, which is part of Dentsu Aegis, held onto the wireless account.
The first Verizon ads from W+K began running in summer 2015, and the first full campaign broke in September of that year. The following month, Verizon moved the bulk of its wireless business from McGarryBowen to McCann Erickson New York, leaving McCann and W+K as Verizon’s two main agencies. McGarryBowen Innovations, a product consultancy and lab, continues to work with Verizon on innovation. McCann sister agency R/GA holds the bulk of the company's wireless business, and Publicis Groupe's Zenith remains its media agency. Rauxa, an indepedent agency in New York, handles CRM duties.
W+K’s work for Verizon included the "Better Matters" campaign, which used metaphors to show the importance of quality network service.
In 2015, the agency gave Minecraft players the tools to build a working phone inside the game, an effort that won W+K and Verizon a Gold Lion at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity the following year.
Verizon spent $1.46 billion on measured media across all businesses in 2016, according to Kantar Media.
This is the second time in recent months that the independent agency has parted ways with a high-profile account. At the end of last year, W+K parted ways with ESPN in order to work with Fox Sports, which named the agency its first creative agency of record. Wieden had led the ESPN account since 1995, creating memorable campaigns like "This is Sportscenter." There is currently no indication that W+K intends to pitch another client in Verizon’s category.
Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated McGarryBowen's relationship with Verizon. The agency is no longer part of Verizon's creative roster. The article has been updated to reflect that.