SMI Group, the UK-based hi-tech advertising agency, is taking on major
international networks in a fight for the pounds 20 million pan-European
advertising account of the Italian computer giant, Olivetti Personal
SMI has linked up with World Writers, the international copywriting
agency, to take on the incumbents, Barbella Gagliardi Saffirio, which is
part of the Euro RSCG network, and Pirella Gottsche Lowe. Ammirati Puris
Lintas, which has also worked for Olivetti in the past, Leo Burnett and
the Italian agency, Lega, also pitched this week.
Alex Letts, the chairman of SMI, said: ‘We are challenging the concept
of the traditional network with a virtual network, using World Writers,
technology, our World Wide Web site and our special knowledge of this
Olivetti Personal Computers, which was launched as a separate company in
January this year as part of a major restructuring at the parent, is
planning to double its 1995 advertising budget of pounds 10 million in
Europe (pounds 2 million in the UK). It is bidding to win market share
from rivals such as Digital, IBM, Compaq and Hewlett-Packard - which is
also reviewing its pan-European PC account.
The former Digital marketing chief, Robert Scott-Moncrief, has been made
marketing communications director at Olivetti Personal Computers and is
leading the review.
Scott-Moncrief told Campaign he would be embracing a through-the-line
strategy. ‘The aim is to support the business, not just in terms of
brand awareness,’ he said, ‘but also conversion levels.’ He added that
the first-stage presentations from agencies had now been seen and that a
decision would be reached by the end of the month.
All of Olivetti’s media was centralised into CIA Medianetwork last