Saatchi Turns HP Audit Into Pitch

Targets Global Account by Stressing Overarching Value of E-Services
SAN FRANCISCO–As Hewlett-Packard waits to make a decision regarding a possible global consolidation, Saatchi & Saatchi has made a play for its entire account with a strategy that plays up the importance of HP’s e-services division, said sources.
Saatchi’s pitch follows an agency audit that was conducted recently for HP, Palo Alto, Calif., by Los Angeles consultancy Select Resources International. During the audit, Saatchi and fellow roster shops Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and Publicis & Hal Riney each rated their own performance for HP, as well as their client’s performance, said sources.
Agencies were asked to informally brainstorm ways HP can strengthen its brand globally through advertising. Executives with Saatchi, San Francisco, decided to take their findings directly to the client–suggesting they, backed by their global network, would best manage HP’s international needs, sources said.
Saatchi currently handles HP’s $100-150 million e-services account. Sources said executives with HP’s Enterprise Computing Solutions Organization have been suggesting to corporate management that e-services is most vital to HP’s future.
Saatchi’s unsolicited presentation was made to a handful of ECS and corporate executives, sources said, and used a theme that stressed how e-services can “bring to life” HP products such as printers and copiers (products handled by Goodby, San Francisco) and PCs (handled by Riney, San Francisco).
Options HP is said to be considering include: consolidating the estimated $350 million-plus account at one shop; asking one shop to act as lead agency; or bringing in an outside shop for a brand assignment.
The findings of the audit were presented earlier this month to HP executives, including the high-tech company’s new chief executive officer, Carly Fiorina, according to sources. Sources said Fiorina has told roster agencies she will not make any decisions about changes in HP’s advertising plans until the end of the fourth quarter.
Goodby and Riney executives have no plans to make similar presentations to HP, sources said.
Meanwhile, the audit has brought about at least one tangible change: Riney, which is working on new ads for HP’s Business PC Organization, has been asked to incorporate a “champion of ingenuity” theme into its work, but not as a tagline. This theme evolved from the audit, said sources, who added that Goodby has not yet been told to pursue the theme in its ads.