GSD&M on Sidelines as Kinko’s Alters Strategy

DALLAS GSD&M has seen its role on Kinko’s change drastically in the two years since it won the account, as the client has cut spending and shifted its focus from mass marketing to a more targeted approach.

The Dallas company, which for years positioned itself as a place for individuals and small businesses to do copying and printing jobs, is now emphasizing contract document services to the commercial market. “It was really a natural evolution. … We’re still focused on the local market and consumer, but our biggest growth engine is the business outsourcing market,” said client rep Maggie Thill.

Ad spending has plummeted. Kinko’s aired TV work just once this year—during the PGA Tour’s Kinko’s Classic of Austin in May. The account was worth $25 million when Omnicom Group’s GSD&M in Austin, Texas, won it in December 2001. The 1,200-unit chain spent just $2 million through September of this year, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

GSD&M’s most recent TV image work for Kinko’s broke in March 2002. It positioned the company as a place where businesses of any size can find a “network” of human and technological resources. “Tap into the network” was the tagline.

GSD&M remains on board as a “strategic communications provider,” Thill said. GSD&M representative Eric Webber said, “Kinko’s is still a valued client, and we will continue to provide communications strategies.” He declined further comment.

Thill declined to discuss advertising plans for 2004. The client is seeking a replacement for vice president of marketing Chris Gibson, who retired in October, Thill said.

Kinko’s is now marketing itself mainly through e-mail, direct mail, public relations and ads in vertical trade publications. The company awarded public relations duties to Interpublic Group’s Weber Shandwick last summer; it does most other work in-house.

“What we found is that tightly defined business outsourcing is most effectively communicated in a targeted way,” Thill said.