Clarion to shift Polaroid’s focus from photos to TVs

Instant camera developer Polaroid has brought in Clarion Communications to pos­ition it as a ‘family-centric’ consumer electronics brand.

Polaroid: making a break with the past
Polaroid: making a break with the past

The agency won a four-way pitch to handle UK PR activity for Polaroid, which has struggled since digital photography made its trademark instant cameras obsolete. Clarion MD Amanda Meyrick said her team would attempt to shift perceptions of Polaroid ‘away from its photographic roots’.

In particular, the London agency will focus on Polaroid’s new line of LCD TVs. The US-based company also manufactures DVD players, GPS systems, digital cameras and polarised sunglasses.

Clarion will organise media briefings, events, competitions and stunts. The bulk of the activity will start in 2008. Board director Shelley Wyatt will lead the account team at the London-based agency.

Polaroid filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2001 and faced media criticism when its executives received bon­uses while shareholders were left with nothing.

In 2005, merchandising outfit Petters Group Worldwide acquired Polaroid. Petters has a history of buying failed companies with well-known brand names and revamping them. Polaroid has attempted to modernise, most recently unveiling a line of pink digital cameras to support October’s Nat­ional Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Clarion faced widespread criticism in the press and the PR industry last month when it was accused of manufacturing a survey to gain coverage.

PROs working on the agency’s Veet hair removal cream account reportedly approached Dr Ben Goldacre, author of The Guardian’s Bad Science column, asking him if he could analyse the findings of a survey designed to discover which celebrities had the sexiest walks (PRWeek, 5 September).

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