Kaizo held the whole Epson UK brief until two years ago, when the consumer half of the account was handed to Frank.
In 2004, Frank handled Epson's sponsorship of Celebrity Dad of the Year (PRWeek, 26 March 2004) and project work such as the launch of Epson's Home Cinema. Last October Epson appointed Katie Chaplin as UK PR manager. She said bringing the entire account under a single agency would ‘make things easier for the in-house team'.
Tokyo-based Epson has struggled of late in the market for inkjet printers, its mainstay business. Dell launched colour printers in Japan last month that are less than half the price of comparable domestic products. Meanwhile, global prices of consumer electronics goods are falling.
Epson announced 3,000 job cuts globally in January and issued a profit warning last year. Demand for its polysilicon panels, which are used in projectors and projection TVs, had suffered at the hands of lower-cost LCD and plasma screens.
The agency has been briefed to raise Epson's profile in the consumer and business arenas. ‘It's about ensuring brand standout in a cutthroat market,' said Frank MD Andrew Bloch.
‘We will concentrate on photo-printers and home cinema on the consumer side, and professional photographers, creative agencies and the projector market at the business end.'
According to JP Morgan senior analyst Hisashi Moriyama, Hewlett-Packard leads the inkjet market with 42 per cent global share. Epson and Canon lag behind, each with circa 25 per cent.
No one at Kaizo was available for comment.