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Oak Scores Polaroid Unit, Eyes Buyout

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Polaroid Graphics Imaging last week tapped Oak here as its agency of record--not the only big announcement the shop expects to make in upcoming weeks.
The graphics imaging division of the Cambridge, Mass., photographic giant had worked with 18-person Oak on a project basis but awarded its 1999 advertising account to the shop following a review that included three other comparably sized agencies in the Boston area.
Cyndy Hunter, director of worldwide marketing for the division, confirmed Oak's appointment. Hunter joined Polaroid about a year ago from Iris Graphics in Bedford, Mass., and spearheaded the review. She refused to disclose the other shops that made creative presentations to the client.
The contract covers advertising, direct marketing and trade show support as well as Web site hosting and maintenance. Billings were not disclosed, but Oak executives estimated the account in the seven-figure range.
A division of Graphics Express, Oak has been operating without a full-time creative director since the resignation last year of Jim Fitts. When asked whether that position had or would be filled, managing director Tom Clark said Oak would be announcing an acquisition in the next couple of weeks.
Looking to fill the void created by Fitts departure and perhaps broaden its capabilities, Oak has talked to a number of smaller, creatively focused shops and teams, sources said.
Clark said negotiations have turned serious with at least one prospect, whom he declined to identify, and a letter of intent has been signed.