As Branding Takes Direct Tack, Bam Discharges Power Computing

By Glen Fest

DALLAS–Power Computing, a Macintosh clone manufacturer, is in a wait-and-see period on its $15-20 million ad account following last week’s resignation by Bam, Austin, Texas, of the creative portion of the business.

A representative for the Round Rock, Texas-based client said no formal review plans have been made yet but did not rule out discussions with agencies or other marketing vendors.

Sources said the company is keen on upping direct response advertising efforts, especially after adding numerous executives from direct-to-consumer PC giants like Dell Computer Corp. and Gateway 2000.

‘The management at the company comes from a direct mail background,’ said David Bernert, a Bam principal. ‘That is how they view the marketing process.’

Client representative Mike Rosenfelt confirmed that Power Computing is working to step up direct response and database management initiatives. He added that the company will maintain sufficient branding efforts as it seeks to build global distribution.

Former Dell marketing executive Joel Kocher moved in as Power Computing president last November, along with senior vice president of sales Todd Osborn, a Gateway 2000 alum. In February, the company added five more senior-level executives, including Janet Rubio as director of database management and marketing. Rubio spent five years developing similar programs at Dell.

The ongoing search for the firm’s first vice president of marketing continues, but Rosenfelt said that is being conducted independently of marketing plans.

Bam landed creative assignments for Power Computing last June just after Bernert and partner Mike Bevil opened their agency. The shop added event planning work during the year while the client maintained media in-house.

Bevil cited Bam’s desire to maintain accounts more suited to its creative strategy. Last month Bam resigned direct mail duties. ‘The ads were looking and feeling like direct mail pieces to us,’ Bevil said, ‘and brand image was becoming less and less important.’

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