Canon, the camera-to-copier giant, is consulting agencies about how best
to harmonise its advertising across Europe.
The Japanese-owned company, unlike most of its American competitors, has
traditionally handled its sales and marketing on a strictly country-by-
country basis. However, an initiative has brought together agencies from
the UK, France and Germany - which make up 50 per cent of European sales
- to address the issue of advertising across borders.
The project is being co-ordinated by Canon Europa’s head office in
Amsterdam. Peter Kersten, manager of marketing services, has asked four
roster agencies to produce a ‘creative platform’ for its products. This
would cover such things as typefaces, and agencies would have to prove
that their platform could work in campaigns across individual countries.
‘This is not an agency competition. This is an attempt to have more
harmonisation of brands across Europe,’ Kersten explained. ‘It’s a pan-
European vision with local action.’
One agency is presenting for each major market. Grey, which handles
Canon’s camera advertising, has been chosen from the UK, where WCRS is
also an incumbent, because of its European network, according to
Kersten. Lowe-Alice has been selected from France, FCA BMZ from Germany
and TBWA from the Benelux countries.
Agencies have been asked to present their ideas by the end of March,
with the ultimate aim of drawing up a set of guidelines for use by all
Canon’s advertising agencies across Europe.
Kersten stressed the initiative would not necessarily lead to pan-
European campaigns for Canon’s products, but he did not rule this out
for the future. ‘It may eventually lead there,’ he said.
Grey London’s head of client services, Richard Pinder, confirmed Grey
would be working on the Canon project, but declined to give further