BSMG beats out four top rivals for big-buck HP consumer accounts

BSMG Worldwide's consumer background helped the agency land two Hewlett-Packard accounts worth more than $3 million.

BSMG Worldwide's consumer background helped the agency land two Hewlett-Packard accounts worth more than $3 million.

The wins - the Home Products Division account and a portion of the Inkjet Products Group account - reflect HP's increased focus on the consumer market, as it unveiled new home PCs and a new line of printers last week.

In winning the Home Products Division - which is part of HP's Personal Systems Group and includes the Pavillion line of PCs - BSMG beat out four other firms, including hi-tech stalwarts Copithorne & Bellows and Alexander Ogilvy.

Three firms pitched for the $2 million consumer and business strategy side of the inkjet account, with BSMG prevailing over incumbent Porter Novelli and GCI Group. The work includes promoting the launch of HP's new sub-$100 Apollo printer line, announced last week and slated to hit the market in March.

Palo Alto, CA-based HP put both accounts up for review at the end of October as part of a larger reorganization. Since the Home Products group was created in 1995, Alexander had handled trade and business press, while BSMG had dealt with consumer PR and broadcast media.

Although he described the previous arrangement as 'a pretty good marriage,' Ray Aldrich, PR and advertising manager for the division, said BSMG 'had the correct energy and consumer background' to take on the consolidated trade and consumer account.

BSMG principal Gail Heimann will oversee the account, which BSMG's New York and West Coast offices will handle.

'This win points to what we think is critical about our technology practice,' Heimann said. 'We are able to handle the broad range of the Home Product Division's needs, hard-core consumer marketing and the technology piece.'

Cunningham Communications decided not to participate because it represents IBM's Aptiva line of PCs, senior VP Karen Hodskins said. C&B will continue to handle HP's commercial desktop and notebook PCs, according to Larry Sennett, communications manager for the personal systems group.

The IPG account had also been split, with PN on consumer PR and C&B on the product side. But in late October, HP invited three firms to pitch and awarded the consumer and business strategy component to BSMG. C&B will still handle product PR.

Joe Kessler, president of BSMG's West Coast operations, said the deciding factor in the review was BSMG's consumer orientation and its business strategy pitch.

'The main thrust here for both businesses is working on brand-driven, rather than trade-driven, initiatives,' Sennett said.

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