$20 Mil. Hitachi Task in Play

Hitachi Data Systems is in the final stages of a review for its estimated $20 million ad account, and is talking primarily to West Coast agencies that have global capabilities, according to sources. A decision could come as early as next week.
A representative for HDS, Santa Clara, Calif., a division of Hitachi Ltd. in Tokyo, Japan, confirmed a review is under way, but declined to comment further.
Hitachi reported losses of more than $3 billion after the end of its fiscal year in April. Since then, the company has seen layoffs and an internal restructuring. By increasing the ad budget behind HDS–last year’s spending was negligible–President Etsuhiko Shoyamais is trying to prove HDS’ potential on Wall Street.
As such, the client is asking for ideas on raising the global profile of HDS and its servers, data storage, systems and professional services, as well as sparking the interest of investors. There will also be a business-to-business component, sources said. The client has traditionally focused on product advertising. HDS executives are not asking for any speculative creative, sources said.
HDS has been considering 10 undisclosed shops, and may have already trimmed it down to three to five, sources said. There is no incumbent on the HDS business. The review is being conducted by executives from the client’s London and Santa Clara offices.
The client’s ideal agency will have a “strong presence in London and San Francisco, a history of great creative, a good balance of technology and non-tech clients,” said one source.
Hitachi currently works with Hakuhodo Advertising America in New York, London and San Diego, Calif. It was not known whether Hakuhodo is participating.