Dictaphone Is Talking

Voice and data management company Dictaphone Corp. is talking to a half dozen shops about its ad account, sources said.
Dictaphone needs an agency to handle both creative and media duties, sources said. “We’ve been talking to a variety of agencies,” said Bob Qamar, manager of marketing communications for Dictaphone in Stratford, Conn.
Sources identified four of the six shops as incumbent The Colligan Group here; Weiss, Whitten, Stagliano, also New York; Mintz & Hoke, Avon, Conn.; and the former Houston Herstek Favat, now part of Arnold Communications, Boston.
An Arnold representative said the shop would not pursue the account; the other shops declined comment.
Qamar said the talks were exploratory and suggested that they may not ultimately lead to the hiring of a new agency.
“We have been informally talking to a number of agencies really just to get an idea of what’s out there,” Qamar said. “A decision hasn’t been made as to the ultimate outcome.”
Sources, however, said the company has talked about hiring an agency before the end of March to handle its estimated $4 million account. They said the client began with a list of 30 shops and will cut to three before making a decision.
Qamar said the resource assessment stemmed from a corporate restructuring that began in 1995, when Dictaphone was acquired by Stonington Partners, a New York-based private investment firm. Before that, Dictaphone was owned by Pitney Bowes.
Dictaphone markets systems for dictation, voice processing and response, unified messaging, records management, court recording, call center monitoring and communications recording.
In addition to offices in Stratford and Melbourne, Fla., Dictaphone has offices in England, Germany, Switzerland and Canada.
Colligan has been Dictaphone’s agency for about a year. The company spent less than $1 million on advertising last year, and that was mainly for print ads, Qamar said. The ads appeared in industry publications.
–with Judy Warner