IBM PC Co. media relations director Paul Bergevin confirmed that a dozen agencies besides Lintas have been invited to meet with the unit's marketing executives in the next few weeks. The list is as follows: New York shops Kirshenbaum & Bond, Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer, Lowe & Partners, Merkley Newman Harry, Deutsch/Dworin and Young & Rubicam; Minneapolis shops Fallon McElligott and Carmichael Lynch; Chicago's Leo Burnerr Co.; Hal Riney & Partners and Goodby, Berlin & Silverstein, both San Francisco; and Chiat/Day, Venice Beach, Calif. Except for Burnerr and Y&R, which has handled some /BM business through its Landor Associates and Burson-Marsteller units, mega-shops with IBM connections, such as J. Walter Thompson and Grey Advertising, are noticeably absent from the list.
By the time the IBM unit picks an ad agency, many other aspects of the company's expected relaunch will probably be worked out (ADWEEK, May 17). In fact, hints about where the company will likely take its advertising are emerging.
A strategic line, "Human By Design", suggested by Landor as part of a larger branding study, has made it into at least one advertisement for the PS/2 E, a PC Co. product that is being touted as both ergonomically and environmentally correct.
According to one source, the twopage ad, which broke three weeks ago, spells out the strategic brief Lintas has been working with on the IBM PC Co. account. "That's the assignment that Lintas has been struggling with," the source said.
The ad welcomes users to "natural computing," a buzz phrase that was also used by unit president/ceo Robert Corrigan in a speech given at last month's PC Expo.
How the PC Co. will tackle its biggest issue--a Landor-recommended name change to something along the lines of THINK Personal Technologies-remains unclear. One source said that not using the IBM initials at all is still a matter of debate at the company, and it was possible that as a compromise the PC unit would add the words "by IBM" to the name as a way of emphasizing the unit's heritage.
Bergevin didn't confirm that a name change was planned. "As far as what we'll do down the line, I'd rather not speculate," he said.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)