Microsoft is pitching its digital ad agency Razorfish to five of the world’s top ad agencies, the WSJ reports. The agencies are WPP, Omnicom, Publicis Groupe, Interpublic and Dentsu.
WPP, Omnicom and Publicis are interested in pursuing the deal, but here’s the catch.
Microsoft (MSFT) is not just looking for a buyer, but a company that will spend millions on online ads.
WSJ: The deal also could include agreements for the ad holding company to use Microsoft’s digital advertising services or to buy ad space across Microsoft’s digital properties, such as its new search engine, Bing, Web sites, the Zune music player and the Xbox gaming console, the people say.
There are two reasons agencies might be reluctant:
- An agreement to use Microsoft’s online properties will hurt the agency’s independence. Clients trust their ad agencies to make decisions that are best for the advertisers, and not limit themselves to certain companies.
- Also, Microsoft is a big client to both Interpublic and WPP, and this presents a confict of interest to the two agencies if they decide to bid for Razorfish.
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