HSR Set to Push Kodak to Pros

HSR Business to Business has picked up Kodak Professional’s global advertising account following a review.

The Cincinnati shop will handle creative and media duties for the client. Sources estimated bil lings at $4 million, which would make it the agency’s largest account.

Kodak Professional, a division of Eastman Kodak Co. in Rochester, N.Y., initially invited 200 agencies to pitch the business, which targets photographers, photographic labs and dealers, said Audrey Jonckheer, a Kodak representative.

HSR beat out two undisclosed finalists to win the review. The shop’s “solid history” in business-to-business advertising impressed Kodak executives, Jonckheer said.

It was not known if incumbent Saatchi & Saatchi Rowland in Fairfield, N.Y., defended the account. A representative for the shop could not be reached.

While HSR has no direct category experience, CEO Rick Segal said the agency’s work for other technology clients helped its pitch, and he cited a solid relationship that developed with client executives.

“We had no experience in the photo category, but the chemistry was there from the start,” he said.

HSR will create a print campaign for photo-enthusiast magazines and trade publications. The agency will also devise Internet-based advertising, Segal said.

Creative is set to break in February and March, in time for the Wedding & Portrait Photographers International convention and the Photo Marketing Association trade show, Segal said.

The agency may open an office near Kodak’s headquarters, Segal said. HSR plans to hire more than 20 people to handle Kodak Professional and another new account, Vita-Mix, which the agency picked up last month, he said.

HSR topped four undisclosed shops for Vita-Mix, a Cleveland supplier of drink blenders and food mixers.

HSR’s clients also include Cincinnati Bell, GE Plastics and Hobart.

The bulk of Kodak’s consumer ac count is handled by Ogilvy & Mather in New York. Ogilvy’s current work carries the tagline, “Take pictures. Further.” Kodak spent a total of $150 million on measured media in 2001, according to CMR.