Hewlett Packard Enterprise Moves Most of Its B2B Business from Omnicom to Publicis

By Patrick Coffee 

International information technology giant HPE or Hewlett Packard Enterprise, which spun off from the larger Hewlett-Packard company last year, has moved the majority of its B2B business from Omnicom to Publicis after an agency review.

This shift follows HP, Inc.’s May decision to dial back its relationship with Omnicom’s 180LA and send a greater share of its marketing work to Gyro and Paris-based indie agency Fred&Farid. (BBDO still works on the computer/printer side of that business, which it won in a 2012 review.)

Other Omnicom shops also worked on various parts of the HPE account, with RAPP on direct marketing, OMG on media and Doremus handling demand generation work. Moving forward, the account will be handled by Publicis New York, DigitasLBi, Razorfish and Optimedia.


This news does not mark a complete break with the Omnicom organization, however. HPE’s senior vice president of global communications Howard Clabo wrote, “HPE has made the decision to transition the marketing work currently being done by BBDO, Doremus, Rapp, and OMG to Publicis.  This decision does not impact the strong relationships that HPE has with Omnicom agencies Ketchum, Siegel + Gale, Interbrand and GMR.”

The Enterprise portion of the HP organization has been more aggressively promoting its product in recent months, most prominently via a sponsorship deal with this summer’s Star Trek Beyond. BBDO handled creative on that campaign, titled “The Machine.”

Late last year, the HPE unit launched a new global brand campaign, also by BBDO with strategy from Siegel+Gale, after splitting from the main HP, Inc. business. The work ran under the tagline “Accelerating Next” and the brand promise “Together we propel your business forward.”

Here’s BBDO’s spot introducing the new HPE.

At the time, SVP of experience marketing Susan Popper told AdAge, “The green rectangle is a metaphor for how we are an integral part of our customers’ success, whether it’s a test car, a hospital or a wind tunnel.”

The creative review launched in January, two months after CEO Meg Whitman named former HP EVP/CMO Henry Gomez as chief marketing officer of the new organization. He later told AdAge that he wanted to find a creative shop that could help the brand break through to consumers outside its IT base by “marketing to the entire C-suite, developers and a diverse group of folks,” adding, “We are looking for one lead agency that can handle integrated, TV, digital, social — across the board.”

Regarding the Publicis decision, Gomez said, “HPE competes in challenging and transformative markets. We needed enhanced capabilities, particularly in digital marketing, and after a search felt that Publicis had the best set of assets across the board. We are looking forward to this journey ahead.”

“Publicis united its best-in-class agencies and capabilities to provide HPE with a solution that helps them strategically navigate the future of the IT industry,” said Publicis North America CEO Andrew Bruce. Dawn Winchester, chief digital officer at Publicis New York, added, “We’re looking forward to using our tools, talents, and strategic thinking to create a suite of work that transforms HPE’s business and expands their global footprint.”

BBDO did not participate in the review, which sources attribute to HPE’s desire to dedicate more of its resources to demand generation marketing efforts.

According to the latest numbers from Kantar Media, HPE spent approximately $13.6 million on paid media during the first quarter of 2016.