Winkler, Intershop Quick to Attack

E-Commerce Firm Takes on Rival IBM by Spoofing Its Advertising
SAN FRANCISCO–Winkler Advertising has jumped into the ring with new client Intershop and is immediately taking some jabs at one of the e-commerce software firm’s leading competitors, IBM.
The agency last week launched the first phase of what will be a global print and online campaign for Intershop, a German company with U.S. headquarters in San Francisco. Winkler won the estimated $15 million account earlier this year.
The work appears to spoof a current print campaign by IBM’s lead roster shop, Ogilvy & Mather, New York. The black-and-white executions put a twist on the “e-business” trumpeting that Big Blue has been running for months through most of its advertising.
One ad features a farmer shoveling cow manure from a very large heap of dung. Above the scene, in red text, is the phrase, “e b.s.” On the next page is a lengthy description about what Intershop offers in e-commerce and for clients worldwide such as Mercedes-Benz and Mindspring.
Sources said the manure ad has worried some publications, including The Wall Street Journal. Executives there reportedly thought the “e b.s.” ad was too crude, and opted to run a tamer execution–one with the term “e terminated” and a picture of a box holding the possessions of an unseen pink-slipped employee.
“Any resemblance of our ads to [IBM’s campaign] is simply a coincidence,” said Agnieszka Winkler, president and chief executive officer of the San Francisco agency.
Print work will be adapted for use throughout the Pacific Rim and in Latin America, Winkler said. Elements of the brand strategy in the U.S. will most likely be applied to advertising in Europe, where Intershop already has a strong presence. TV spots may follow this first phase, she added.
Executives with Intershop were not available for comment.