Lyon’s Share Of Akia Pcs In U.S. Is Creative Projects . . . For Now

Lyon Advertising in Austin, Texas, has landed creative projects for direct PC manufacturer Akia Corp., whose advertising account went into limbo following the incumbent agency’s resignation.
Shop president Doug Lyon confirmed last week his agency has been doing print and catalog work for the Austin-based company since March. Although no agency-of-record status has been established, Lyon plans to continue with the company’s marketing chores, he said.
“Our immediate plan is to take a look at their positioning,” said Lyon.
Akia’s ad spending at Bam! was about $6 million annually, although sources have said that figure may shrink due to the Asian economic crisis affecting the Japanese parent.
Akia marketing director John Biebelhausen and president David Register could not be reached.
Akia manufactures a line of space-saving personal computers with flat-panel LCD (liquid crystal display) monitors. It parted with former agency Bam! in April when that Austin shop picked up creative duties for Micron Electronics. Biebelhausen told Adweek in March the company would decide by this month where to place its account.
Lyon would not disclose Akia’s plans, but said the company has been facing price pressures. Akia is ticketed lower than its competitors in the LCD category, but its low-end $1,399 display is nearly the cost of complete Dell or Gateway systems with standard monitors. Industry reports predict a sub-$1,000 market for the LCD monitors by this fall.