HP Rejiggers Ad Accounts

San Francisco-based Goodby, Silverstein & Partners will take over as lead agency in Hewlett-Packard Co.’s brand advertising, as the newly merged computer giant considers its marketing strategy.

In addition to Omnicom-owned Goodby, Palo Alto, Calif.-based HP, which a month ago finalized its merger with rival Compaq, also said Publicis Groupe Worldwide’s agencies will handle advertising for specific products and solutions. Publicis’ OptiMedia will handle worldwide media, while Interpublic’s FCBi will retain interactive duties.

The exact value of the account was not disclosed; following the merger, HP announced plans to trim a number of redundant product lines from both companies’ old lineups, likely to affect product ad spending.

Goodby has served as HP’s agency since 1996. Prior to the merger, Interpublic’s FCB Worldwide served as Houston-based Compaq’s ad agency of record. FCB is expected to transition most of its offline account work to the newly appointed firms by early August.

The moves, HP said, represent an important merger integration milestone for the combined company. The announcement comes just a month after the official launch of the “New HP” — prior to which, the two companies each relied on a network of advertising agencies for marketing initiatives around the world.

“Consolidating agency resources was an essential part of creating one brand and one voice for the company,” said Gary Elliott, vice president of HP Marketing Communications.

“These selections mark a critical first step in integrating the new company’s marketing capabilities,” he added. “With today’s announcement, we can now focus on the development and launch of our first major brand and advertising campaign planned for later this year.”

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