O&M wins 25m Kodak from JWT

Eastman Kodak has pulled its $40m (25m) account out of J Walter Thompson and given it to Ogilvy & Mather, ending a relationship which stretches back over 60 years.

Kodak has now consolidated all its $300m (180m) consumer advertising into Ogilvy & Mather, which is JWT’s sister agency within the WPP Group.

The move casts a shadow on the future of the JWT and O&M joint venture, created to handle media for Kodak last November. But Kodak says it is too early to say whether the venture will continue.

O&M has already wrested the account for Kodak’s Advantix range of advanced digital cameras from JWT – in December last year – and holds accounts for film and traditional cameras.

O&M was first awarded work from Kodak in November 1994, when it was given the digital and applied imaging products accounts. Ten months later it won the $50m (30m) corporate branding account.

Kodak has invested heavily in its advanced photo system, Advantix, though analysts suggest that losses on the Advantix range could reduce profit as a percentage of sales for the Kodak consumer imaging unit for the rest of the year.

The company has also launched a low-priced brand of film called Colourburst in undisclosed test markets in an attempt to win back sales from discount film brands, which have eaten into Kodak’s market.

JWT produced the first TV ad for Kodak in 1955 and also produced Kodak camera bears for Christmas with cards reading, “Open me first” so photographs could be taken of the rest of the presents being opened. It also created the “Kodak moment” campaign in 1992.

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