- Starcom MediaVest Group has inked a deal with Microsoft that commits the agency to buying inventory across Microsoft properties like Xbox, Skype, and MSN.
- At the same time, SMG is trying to hold onto its incumbent position as the media agency for Microsoft, which started the process of an agency consolidation review earlier this year.
- There's no direct evidence that the deal will strengthen SMG's chances at retaining the business, but it does put the agency in a different position with Microsoft than its competing agencies.
The deal between SMG and Microsoft seems quite unusual because the agency is putting money into a company that may eventually cut it loose. Although no official statement has been made to this effect, it seems on the surface that SMG is trying to use the ad deal to position itself better for the consolidation review. Microsoft likely understands this and is willing to allow that to happen in order to sell ad inventory, and the tech giant may wish to keep SMG on anyway.