Imation Talking to Shops

Imation Corp. has contacted agencies in the Midwest and Southwest, and possibly in New York as well, about its $8-10 million advertising account, sources said.
Officials at the Oakdale, Minn.-based data storage company could not be reached for comment, but sources said the company has had “informal” discussions with several shops. It was not clear whether or not these discussions are the precursor to a formal review of the business.
The account has been with Ketchum Advertising in Pittsburgh since 1996, when 3M spun off its data storage, imaging and printing businesses as a stand-alone company under the Imation banner. Ketchum officials said they were unaware of any search being conducted by their client.
When Ketchum was awarded the account, it was valued at $14 million. The company spent $7.5 million in 1997, and $8 million over the first 10 months of 1998, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
Ketchum’s initial advertising for the company played up its 3M heritage. Later executions focused on what separated Imation from its competitors.
Imation has struggled since its inception. Last year, it sold its CD-ROM services unit to Metatec and its medical imaging systems to Eastman Kodak.
The company continues to market the SuperDisk computer disk drive. Though SuperDisk is not as well-known as its chief competitor, Iomega’s Zip drive, Imation recently announced the SuperDisk would become a standard feature on five new models of Compaq’s Presario computers.