One suggested moniker - THINK Personal Technologies - may have made its way to the desk of new IBM chief Louis Gerstner, who is expected to give the thumbs up or down to the new name within the next three months. However, Ray Freeman, vp/communications for the PC unit, stated Friday that looking at the possibility of a name change was only a small part of the role Landor may play. He added he wasn't aware of any names having made their way to Gerstner. 'Landor is involved in working with our brand; they were not hired to rename our company,' he said. 'They are working with our brand managers on the whole area of branding.'
Landor's work for the PC Co. encompasses several tasks that border on the province of ad agencies. According to one IBM source, Landor suggested not only the new name but a strategic line - 'Human by Design' - to IBM PC Co. executives. But the existence of the line doesn't mean that it would definitely make its way into the division's advertising, currently handled by Lintas:New York and Grey Direct. 'It's a positioning description rather than a copy line,' explained one source close to IBM.
In another area, Freeman indicated that a global pitch to consolidate the PC company's worldwide advertising at a single agency may only be a matter of time. 'One agency globally would make sense,' he concluded. 'We're trying to develop a global brand here.'
Interestingly, the Landor connection apparently wasn't enough for Y&R to reach IBM's inner circle in Europe, where the client just completed a process of selecting a pool of five agencies for future ad assignments (ADWEEK, April 5). Y&R was one of two shops that didn't make the final cut.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)