Pentax Cameras Narrows Focus To Crew of Four Agency Finalists

By Glen Fest

DALLAS–Pentax Cameras has selected four shops as finalists for its estimated $7 million account.

The finalists are the Portland, Ore., office of Borders, Perrin and Norrander, Thomas & Perkins and Karsh & Hagan Communications, both in Denver, and Rives Carlberg of Houston. Executives from the shops declined to comment.

The account previously had been handled by Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis.

Pentax spent $6.6 million on major media advertising in 1996, according to Competitive Media Reporting. Most of that went for print ads in national consumer magazines, said Lorri Peterson, manager of marketing communications for Pentax.

The company will maintain that spending level for 1997, she said.

All four finalists were selected on the basis of their previous work with retail products, Peterson said. Rives has worked with Compaq Computers, Igloo and Rheem Air Conditioning & Heating Systems.

‘(The agencies’) previous work and the size (of the shops) were the reasons,’ Peterson said. ‘We thought they do really good work.’

Pentax wants to focus more attention on promotional efforts rather than image advertising, according to sources. Any decisions on the direction of Pentax’s marketing will not be made until after an agency is selected, Peterson said.

The parting with Carmichael Lynch was amicable, Peterson said.

There was no rift between Pentax and its prior shop, Peterson said. ‘I wouldn’t want you to think we thought of anything less than the world of Carmichael Lynch.’

Pentax hired Carmichael in January 1994 to promote its line of SLR and Compact Zoom cameras in addition to Pentax security equipment.

Agency contender Thomas & Perkins is now working with Pentax. The agency created and maintains the camera manufacturer’s Web site.

The agency’s other clients include TCI, Hinckley & Schmitt, Norwest Bank Colorado and The Denver Zoo.

Karsh & Hagan’s client list includes the Colorado Lottery and McDonald’s Rocky Mountain Advertising Cooperative Association.

Borders Perrin and Norrander’s clients include Columbia Sportswear.

–with Angela Dawson

Copyright ASM Communications, Inc. (1997) ALL RIGHTS RESERVED