M&C Saatchi’s New York office is on the brink of its first major win
with an appointment to handle Packard Bell, the US’s biggest
manufacturer of home PCs.
The agency would make no comment ahead of an expected formal
announcement next week. But Bill Muirhead, who runs the M&C Saatchi
operation in the US, is understood to be close to signing a contract to
secure the multi-million dollar account in the US.
The deal is expected to lead to extra business for other M&C Saatchi
offices in key markets, including the UK.
The appointment will be the prelude to Packard Bell’s first significant
move into traditional advertising. The company previously relied on co-
operative deals with retailers.
At present, Packard Bell’s US account lies dormant at Kovel Kresser and
Partners in Santa Monica, California.
The expected move to M&C Saatchi comes three months after Packard Bell
reached a settlement in the US with Compaq, which had filed a lawsuit
alleging unfair advertising. Packard Bell had launched a counter claim
for punitive damages over Compaq’s suit, which charged the company with
putting used components in PCs and selling them as new without telling
Packard Bell has enjoyed spectacular growth in the US since the 80s
through its tactic of forging relationships with department stores and
consumer electronics dealers with little or no experience of selling
The company’s groundwork paid off as sales of home PCs boomed. In 1994
the company’s worldwide sales leaped by 120 per cent from the previous
year to an estimated dollars 3 billion.