LOWE LANDS RICOH GLOBAL ACCOUNT

Maker of Office Equipment Looking to Start Braning Effort

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Working in partnership with its Japanese joint-venture partner, Interpublic Group of Cos.' Lowe, New York, won global account responsibilities for office equipment maker Ricoh Co.

The award followed a review on strategy between Lowe, which worked with Lowe & Partners/Standard, Tokyo; Japanese agencies Hakuhodo and K&L; and Bcom3 Group's D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, with partner Dentsu.

Worldwide spending on the business was not disclosed. In 2001, Tokyo-based Ricoh spent $24 million in measured media in the U.S., according to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR. Global spending is expected to be around three times that amount, according to executives with knowledge of the account.

Lowe will also handle media planning and buying in the U.S., while media will be purchased abroad by Interpublic's Initiative Media North America. Lowe New York office President Rob Quish said new work for the company will focus on branding.

"Historically, Ricoh has been a sales-driven organization that's relied on customers learning about the brand through its sales channels."

Ricoh's competitors include Xerox Corp., Canon and Hewlett-Packard.

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