- Publicis has begun harvesting the fruits of its US agency acquisition programme with an appointment to run Hewlett-Packard's first major global ad initiative.
The computer manufacturer becomes the first US multinational client to run global business through the Paris-based network currently striving to become a credible world player. It also kicks off the new relationship between Hal Riney & Partners and Publicis, which acquired the San Francisco hotshop in April.
Publicis's brief is to deliver a global strategy to promote the company's personal computers and servers.
It follows an invitation by Hewlett-Packard to its main worldwide roster agencies, Publicis and Saatchi & Saatchi, to come up with recommendations to give the products a consistent worldwide image (Campaign, 7 August).
But a Hewlett-Packard executive at the company's headquarters in Palo Alto, California, this week rubbished a report in the Wall Street Journal that the business would be worth more than $200 million. "We don't yet have funding for the initiative ," she said. "What's more, our entire budget for PC advertising in the US is only between $10 million and $12 million."
Nevertheless, Maurice Levy, the Publicis chairman, who fronted last month's pitch in Santa Clara with Joanna Baldwin, his newly-promoted vice-president in charge of international new business development, hailed the win as "wonderful news". He said: "This is verification that our global strategy is right."
Publicis agencies in London, France, Singapore, Australia, Brazil, Mexico and the US along with Publicis Technology, the network's technology marketing specialist, contributed to the pitch. The account will be run out of the US and serviced regionally in Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America.
The appointment reflects a growing relationship between Hewlett-Packard and Publicis which won the company's £20 million pan European PC branding business in April 1996. Eight months later it was assigned to co-ordinate dealer advertising across the continent. Saatchis retains the PC and server business in the US.