Hopefuls Chase A Pair Of High-Tech Accounts

Two West Coast-based high-tech companies, Mentor Graphics and Global PC, are conducting separate agency reviews.
Mentor Graphics, a Wilsonville, Ore.-based software developer, is expected to soon whittle down a long list of contenders to a handful of shops for its estimated $5 million account, according to Melinda Venable, marketing communications manager at the company’s San Jose, Calif., office.
“We’re looking for our new agency to help us move beyond the trades and into business publications,” said Venable. The business is a global account, she said.
A decision is expected by March, Venable said, adding that the contenders are located primarily on the West Coast. At this late stage in the process, she said, no shops will be considered that are not already on the client’s list.
Prior to the review, Mentor Graphics worked with KVO, Portland, Ore., which recently got out of the advertising business but still handles public relations for the client. KVO’s recent work is still appearing in trade publications, Venable said.
Although Mentor Graphics handles its own Web site and online advertising, Venable said the company would like its agency to take on some or all of those duties.
Mentor Graphics makes software for designers who develop computers and computer parts. The 15-year-old company reported combined sales of its products and services of approximately $455 million in 1997.
Separately, startup company Global PC, Sunnyvale, Calif., is talking to agencies in California about its ad account, which it says is worth at least $10 million, sources said. However, the company has raised less than $3 million to promote its official launch, which has yet to be scheduled, and is only “talking informally” with agencies about its business, sources said.
Company executives could not be reached for comment. Smith Public Relations, Los Angeles, which handles PR duties for the company, is assisting with the review, sources said.