Arnold, Hill Feel ‘The EMC Effect’

N.E.’s Biggest Are Among 7 Shops Looking to Earn $10-15 Mil. Job
BOSTON–Arnold Communications and Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos are squaring off against five out-of-region agencies for EMC Corp.’s $10-15 million North American ad account.
Opposing Boston’s two largest shops are Ammirati Puris Lintas, Doremus & Co., McCann-Erickson and Grey Advertising, all in New York, and Think New Ideas in Los Angeles. Finalists will be named before month’s end; a decision is expected in June, said review consultant Skip Pile, president of Pile and Co., Boston.
“The overriding criteria are large-scale business-to-business credentials and some technology credibility,” Pile said of the list of contenders.
Ammirati may drop out of EMC should it win Dell Computer’s $30 million account, sources said. Pile conceded that a conflict situation would arise for EMC should Ammirati, now a Dell finalist, win that business.
Hill, Holliday currently handles the AMD account and is a former lead agency for IBM-owned Lotus Development. Arnold has handled Digital Equipment Corp. Think New Ideas works on interactive assignments for EMC through its office in Stoneham, Mass.
EMC’s international business–shared by London agencies Mediapolis and World Writers–is not currently in play.
Five-year incumbent Mullen was placed on notice by the client last month [Adweek, April 12]. The Wenham, Mass., shop’s latest work for the maker of data storage products consisted of humorous ads themed, “The EMC Effect,” a line that will likely remain in future campaigns, EMC officials have said.
Management changes at EMC–particularly the arrival of former IBM executive Cos Santulo as senior vice president of global marketing–have driven the review, said sources. Though client officials have disputed that idea, no rationale has been offered for the split.
The Hopkinton, Mass.-based company recently reported a 36 percent boost in first-quarter revenues to $1.13 billion, compared with the same period a year ago. EMC’s income in the first quarter surged to $221 million, a 51 percent gain over 1998.
Mullen was purchased two weeks ago by the Interpublic Group of Cos.’ Lowe Group. Ammirati and Hill, Holliday are also owned by IPG.