A&R ups focus on consumer issues with new practice

SAN MATEO, CA: Despite having worked with major consumer technology companies such as Palm and Adobe Systems for years, A&R Partners has now decided to launch a consumer practice.

SAN MATEO, CA: Despite having worked with major consumer technology companies such as Palm and Adobe Systems for years, A&R Partners has now decided to launch a consumer practice.

"We began to realize our place in the consumer technology market is an important business opportunity," said president and managing partner Bob Angus. "We're seeing that more and more technology companies will be viewed increasingly as consumer companies. You can buy a Palm [PDA] for $99. They have games on them, and a Wine Spectator buying guide. People don't see these as just technology products any more."

By creating a dedicated practice, Angus said he hopes the agency will attract new clients, as well as relevant talent.

Kathleen Williams, a senior manager who will oversee the consumer practice, explained that one key element is getting such products in front of audiences with which their clients may not be accustomed.

"We want to get these products on [The] Oprah [Winfrey Show], or in front of the fashion press," said Williams. "It's an element our clients have been saying loudly that they need. Our big goal is to get demand out there for products. And part of that is getting these products in front of consumers when they are not necessarily looking for them. It presents the product in a different context that will hopefully get the consumer to think about it."

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