8 In Contention For $20 Mil. Epson Account

Epson America has narrowed its search for a new agency to handle its $20 million ad account to eight contenders, sources said.
They are Bozell Worldwide and Lowe & Partners/SMS, both in New York; Bates USA in New York and Irvine, Calif.; BBDO West, Los Angeles; Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners West, San Francisco; The Focus Group, Dallas; Rubin Postaer and Associates, Santa Monica, Calif.; and one undisclosed agency, sources said.
The contenders will be briefed Dec. 9 by the Torrance, Calif.-based client. The agencies declined comment and the client did not return calls.
The review is being handled by Michael Marsak, a consultant with Effective Marketing Strategies in Marina del Rey, Calif. Marsak also declined comment.
The assignment will include both creative and media duties, although the client is willing to split those chores.
Jeffrey Marks, Epson’s director of corporate communications, said Epson’s new agency should have a West Coast presence.
Ammirati Puris Lintas, New York, resigned the Epson account in November because it was “unable to reach a new financial agreement” with the client. The shop had handled the account since May 1995.
Marks said “philosophical differences” killed the relationship.
Ammirati’s last work for the company’s color printers was tagged: “You’ve got to see it in Epson color.”
Epson has a 16 percent share of the printer market, according to Computer Intelligence Infocorp; Hewlett-Packard leads with 49 percent. –with staff reports