Goodby at Risk In Polaroid Consolidation

Polaroid Corp. is seeking to consolidate its $150 million global ad account. Its European agency, Bartle Bogle Hegarty in London, has enlisted Chicago-based B COM3 sister shop Leo Burnett in an effort to wrest the U.S. portion of the assignment from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, sources said.
Polaroid representative Skip Colcord confirmed the company is “re-evaluating how we allocate our advertising resources,” though he downplayed the idea that it is a shootout. “We’re looking at ways we can fold in the substantial resources of Leo Burnett,” he added.
San Francisco-based Goodby, despite its lack of an overseas network, is pitching alone and banking on its award-winning creative to help it retain at least the domestic part of the account, sources said.
Officials at Goodby, BBH and Burnett declined comment.
Goodby’s “See what develops” campaign has been well-received creatively. However, the agency is likely the dark horse in this consolidation, given certain developments.
With overseas markets accounting for a large portion of Polaroid’s sales, Goodby’s lack of global reach has been a concern for Polaroid management, which is looking to grow in Europe and the Pacific Rim, said sources.
In addition, Polaroid executives are also said to view Goodby’s status as agency for Hewlett-Packard as a growing conflict. Like H-P, Polaroid makes and markets digital cameras. Another factor that could work against Goodby is recent turnover in Polaroid’s marketing department–notably the departure of vp of North American marketing David Lucas and the hiring of Daniel Reid, a former Burnett executive, as director of worldwide brand development.
It is not the first time Polaroid has considered a global consolidation or the first time the two shops have squared off. In October 1998, they both presented global branding ideas, but nothing came of that exercise. –with Justin M. Norton