HP pits roster agencies against each other

Global technology and printing giant Hewlett Packard is conducting a global internal pitch that is likely to sharpen competition between roster agencies Goodby Silverstein & Partners and Publicis.

The internal review requires the two roster agencies to deliver new advert- ising ideas around its business-focused enterprise systems division and its imaging and printing arm.

Omnicom Group’s Goodby Silverstein & Partners and Publicis Groupe’s Publicis continue to wrestle for control of HP’s advertising business. Goodby handles the brand advertising for HP, while Publicis covers local markets. It is not thought that the client has approached outside agencies at this stage.

In January, Goodby snatched control of the creative task for the personal systems group from Publicis & Hal Riney, in the US.

A spokesman at HP says/ “Goodby Silverstein & Partners and Publicis & Hal Riney continue to do excellent work for HP and serve as our principal agency partners. With new leadership and a new year ahead of us it is a natural time to evaluate HP’s advertising needs.

“As part of that, HP’s Personal Systems Group has decided to award a new creative assignment to Goodby, effective January 16. HP has no additional information to share at this time.”

The move is part of the restructure that followed the departures of HP chief executive Carly Fiorina and chief marketer Allison Johnson last year (MW February 17, 2005). Fiorina was at the helm when HP merged with Compaq in 2002 and was responsible for driving the company’s corporate image, together with Johnson, under the “+HP = everything is possible” the “invent” banners.

HP’s current board, which is reported to be more concerned with sales rather than driving a single brand vision, last year started to reverse the changes instigated by Fiorina.

In July last year, HP restructured into three business units: enterprise systems, imaging and printing and personal systems.

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