Hoffman loses Philips, but picks up Novellus

SAN JOSE, CA: In an eventful week, the Hoffman Agency broke even.

SAN JOSE, CA: In an eventful week, the Hoffman Agency broke even.

The firm let go of a significant piece of semiconductor business but picked up another, as Philips Semiconductors and Novellus Systems both picked new agencies to raise awareness of their brands globally.

Royal Philips Electronics' $5.5 billion semiconductor division has selected Text 100 as its global AOR. The division had worked with Hoffman for the past four years.

But Hoffman immediately made up for the loss by signing Novellus, a $1.3 billion company that makes semiconductor manufacturing equipment. Novellus hired Hoffman as its new agency in the US and Asia.

Paul Morrison, Philips Semiconductors' director of brand communications for the Americas, said, "We run a global PR operation, and we wanted an agency that mirrored us perfectly." Four firms participated in the review, but Morrison declined to name them. Hoffman declined to participate.

"Philips is a world-famous corporation, but its semiconductor business isn't as well- known," said Text 100 CEO Aedhmar Hynes. "We want to raise awareness of that business, [and] leverage Philips' brand."

Morrison declined to disclose account billings. Philips competes against such semiconductor giants as Intel.

Hynes also declined to divulge the account size, but said it was a significant win and a top-five account for the agency.

Novellus, now one of Hoffman's top three global accounts, wanted a more global partner to deliver more consistent messaging, said Pushpita Prasad, worldwide PR manager. Novellus previously worked with MCA Communications.

"A global focus is important to us," she added, "as 70% of our sales last year came from Asia."

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