NEWS: ICL hunts shop for new Euro ad drive

The computer giant, ICL, and its major shareholder, Fujitsu, are talking to agencies about a massive drive to raise awareness of the new Fujitsu brand of personal computers across Europe.

The computer giant, ICL, and its major shareholder, Fujitsu, are talking

to agencies about a massive drive to raise awareness of the new Fujitsu

brand of personal computers across Europe.



TBWA, Simons Palmer and the Swedish agency, Cappuccino, have been asked

to pitch for the business, which will to be worth up to pounds 15

million. Media for the account will be handled by ICL’s roster shop,

Carat, both here and on the Continent.



From 1 July, all of ICL’s ‘volume products’ - personal computers and

servers - will be spun off into a new joint venture with Fujitsu and

sold purely under the Fujitsu brand name.



The new company will have its headquarters at ICL’s offices at

Bracknell, Berkshire, and be run by the head of its volume products

division, David Mills.



The Fujitsu name has poor awareness among PC buyers, despite the

Japanese conglomerate’s strong presence in the mainframe and electronics

markets.



The new company has earmarked tens of millions of pounds for a pan-

European campaign to install the brand firmly in the minds of consumers,

according to ICL’s marketing and communications manager for the volume

products division, Martin Archer.



Archer will take on the role of head of marketing at the new company. He

commented: ‘Clearly, we’ve got the objective of growing Fujitsu

awareness. We have got to spend money in order to do this.’



Archer admitted that awareness of the Fujitsu name was below 1 per cent

in some places. He said he hoped to raise this to somewhere ‘in the

20s’. ‘We’ll spend all that’s necessary,’ he commented.



To date, most of ICL’s advertising spend has been devoted to product

commercials, such as the launch of a PC/TV under the old Fujitsu-ICL

label last year. This was handled by Simons Palmer, while European

corporate advertising was restricted to a modest spend through

Cappuccino.



Paul Simons, the chairman of Simons Palmer, confirmed that he had begun

discussions about the European business, but declined to give further

details.



The creative and strategic pitches are scheduled to take place in May.



Details about the new company have not been finalised. For example, it

still does not have an official name. However, it is expected to be 80

per cent owned by Fujitsu, with the balance held by ICL.



Its inaugural advertising campaign is expected to begin around

September.



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