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Y&R Adds Toshiba Laptops, MP3s

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LOS ANGELES Toshiba has selected WPP Group's Y&R Brands to handle marketing for its laptops, MP3 players and projection units following a review, according to Ron Smith, vp, marketing communications at the client's digital products division.

"We took a long, hard look at several agencies," said Smith, praising the work of the incumbent shop, independent nFusion in Austin, Texas. "It's a fine agency, but geographically set apart. We were lucky to find an agency of Y&R's quality in our own backyard."

Rick Eiserman, managing director of the Irvine, Calif.-based shop, said Y&R had been "pursuing [Toshiba] for a long time. Even after over 100 years of innovation, there's still a sense that it's an emerging brand. They invented the laptop category and remain leaders in it. The more we learn the more we get to tell that story."

Eiserman said the first campaign from the shop, executed with sibling Wunderman, would break this month. The work "combines technology, entertainment and education, and we're ready to dig in. It's an opportunity to do breakthrough creative in the interactive space, print and beyond," he said.

Smith said that advertising next year would focus on two aspects of the business: "Reiterating our position as laptop experts, and helping consumers understand the new formats, such as HD-DVD." (Some Toshiba laptops have built-in HD-DVD drives and past print executions have noted the drives as a feature.)

Toshiba's digital products division spent over $10 million in U.S. measured media last year and $7 million through the first three quarters of 2007, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.