HP awards direct account to Publicis

Publicis has defied the odds by retaining HP's $200 million-plus direct marketing account across Europe and the Middle East.

The group won the assignment after a six-way pitch that included Omnicom's Proximity, WPP's Wunderman and Interpublic's DraftFCB.

The account includes below-the-line activity in more than 70 countries. Publicis senior executives claim it will extend the scope of the HP business the group currently handles.

The computer giant's decision will be a blow to Omnicom, which has been putting a huge effort into growing its share of HP business.

Publicis has a 12-year relationship with HP, but was usurped by Omnicom's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners as the lead global creative agency on the brand in January 2006.

Two weeks ago, Omnicom Group's BBDO cemented the tie by winning the $200 million global advertising account for HP's imaging and printing products from Publicis.

Richard Pinder, the Publicis chief operating officer, led its pitch for the DM account, which will be serviced by 20 "hub" offices, including London.

Publicis is believed to have clinched the deal by presenting HP with a new way of handling the business that would closely align network resources to HP's needs.

Pinder said: "HP is always looking for new ways of marketing its printing technology. To do this it needs high-quality agency people. HP is looking to us as its business partner."

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