Olympus Talks to Trio

NEW YORK Olympus briefed the three finalists yesterday in the review of its estimated $15 million account, the client has confirmed.

The Center Valley, Pa.-based client met at its headquarters with Interpublic Group’s Deutsch, WPP Group’s Berlin Cameron United and an independent, ML Rogers, all in New York.

Those shops will make final presentations on the client’s camera business in mid-January, with a decision the same month.

The process, being managed by A-Team Advisors in New York, began in October, when Olympus split with IPG’s The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va. Media duties, which were also handled by Martin, are also in play.

Known primarily for cameras and consumer products, Olympus also manufactures and markets laboratory equipment for medical and scientific applications. In July, the company moved its corporate headquarters from Melville, N.Y., to Center Valley, Pa.

In April, The Martin Agency broke a television and print campaign to introduce the Olympus Stylus 710 digital camera. The work positioned the camera as so desirable that people commit crimes to get them. The ads are tagged, “The irresistible Stylus.”

In one of the spots, a girl in a scouting uniform admires the Stylus camera through a store window before removing the sash that bears her merit badges, wrapping it around her hand and smashing the glass to reach the camera.

Another spot showed paramedics attending an injured and unconscious motorcycle rider who has been in an accident. One of them finds the camera in the man’s pocket and takes it.

Martin won the account in May 2001 after a three-month review. IPG sibling Mullen in Wenham, Mass., handles public relations for the brand.