Handspring to Burnett; Palm taps Citron

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Handspring is shifting its account to Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, from Butler, Shine & Stern, Sausalito, Calif. Handspring was founded by the inventors of 3Com's Palm Pilot. Separately, Palm, which has since been spun off from 3Com, said it selected Citron Haligman Bedecarre, San Francisco, as agency of record. The $70 million account had been at FCB Worldwide. FCB resigned the account for the organizer, which it helped put on the map, after the agency won the $350 million Compaq Computer Corp. account. Liz Brooking, senior director of marketing communications at Palm, said the company had been pitched by several agencies but that Citron won in part because it had worked with new Chief Marketing Officer Satjiv Chahil when he was at Sony Electronics. "It seemed like a slam-dunk to us,'' she said. "It only made sense to go with Citron based on their historical performance and the great chemistry with the group.'' Citron helped launch the Sony Vaio 505 SuperSlim notebook two years ago, before Sony made a corporate decision to move the account to Young & Rubicam. Ms. Brooking said Palm would keep the same text-driven ad campaign and strategy that FCB launched in March. That advertising positioned the handheld organizer leader as having good platform and non-voice wireless devices. The "Simply Palm'' tag will remain. Palm and Citron are on the fast track, with the first work expected to appear in as little as six weeks. Ms. Brooking said she believes Citron and its partners could take the brand's message globally. It's uncertain with whom the independent agency would partner in global efforts. Palm becomes Citron's largest account. Palm is moving to add Internet access to all its new products--through wireless connections, infrared transmission and modems--giving Palm an opportunity to position itself as the conduit that allows people to walk around with the Internet in their pocket.

Copyright May 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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