Compaq moves creative to DDB

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Compaq Computer Corp. said it consolidated creative on its global account at DDB Needham Worldwide, New York, mutually agreeing with incumbent Ammirati Puris Lintas to part on creative on the estimated $300 million account.

Andrew Salzman, Compaq VP-worldwide advertising and brand strategy, said Ammirati, New York, will stay on as direct marketing agency and be one of several interactive shops, and will handle media on an interim basis.

DDB Needham's win is a remarkable turnaround for an agency that looked to have little chance. DDB Needham push hard for a piece or all of Compaq's account as Compaq prepares to close its purchase of DDB Needham client Digital Equipment Corp.

Many Compaq executives appeared solidly behind Ammirati, which has worked with Compaq for seven years and won the global account only last summer. But DDB Needham approached Compaq with speculative creative and branding concepts that turned the tide.

Compaq Ammirati spent months on a brand campaign that had been expected to make its debut at mid-year. Compaq President-CEO Eckhard Pfeiffer, however, was more impressed by DDB Needham's proposals and its much-acclaimed work with Digital, people familiar with the situation say.

On June 2, Compaq formally decided to go with DDB Needham's campaign. Earlier in the day, there were rumors that Compaq was preparing to fire Ammirati before the agency issued a statement late in the day announcing the split.

In a statement, Ammirati Chairman-CEO Martin Puris said: ``We believe that the advertising recommendations presented by [Ammirati] were very powerful and would have been highly successful in positioning the combined company. Compaq's management however, preferred the advertising proposal of Digital's agency.''

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