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AdStar set to launch global review By Michael McCarth

NEW YORK–One of the biggest dominoes from the breakup of IBM is about to fall on the West Coast, where AdStar is preparing to launch a search for a global age

AdStar, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Big Blue based in San Jose, Calif., is the world’s No. 1 information storage business, with 1992 revenues of $6.1 billion. It has been thinking about hiring an agency for some time (ADWEEK, July 25, 1992).
But unlike other IBM spinoffs such as Pennant Systems, Integrated Systems Solutions Corp. and Metaphor-which hired small shops for then’ ad duties–AdStar is leaning towards a global shop, said sources at the company last week.
“We’re a worldwide company so we would need a worldwide agency,” said one AdStar executive, who added the unit will likely advertise under its own name. “We will contact agencies when we’re ready to make the decision.”
The driving force behind the pending review is the appointment in late April of entrepreneur and former two-term U.S. Congressman Ed Zschau as chairman/ceo. Zschau is bent on pushing the unit into consumer markets and distribution channels, creating a need for consumer advertising.
As recently as two years ago, AdStar sold only to and through IBM, but in 1992 it generated nearly $500 million in revenues via sales to other companies. During 1993, AdStar officials expect this figure to grow by roughly 70% to $850 million.
Meanwhile, the Software Development Group of Somers, N.Y.-based IBM Programming Systems has just signed on a new agency, according to sources: the Raleigh,N.C.-based Rockett, Burkhead, Lewis & Winslow for a project. Barbara Cerf, a spokeswoman for the $2.7 billion unit, said “(Lintas:New York) is our agency but it’s not unusual for us to use other agencies for special assignments.”
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)