HP picks McCann for HP venture

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Hewlett-Packard Co. on April 27 named McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York, to handle the launch of its unnamed spinoff, according to people familiar with the selection.

McCann bested Y&R Advertising, San Francisco, in the pitch for HP's test, measurement, medical and components businesses. The venture is being referred to as "Newco," while Young & Rubicam unit Landor Associates develops a name.

Shirley Horn, director of brand management at the spinoff, was not available for comment, but Ms. Horn last week noted the unit was using AT&T Corp. spinoff Lucent Technologies as its model. McCann and Landor developed Lucent's advertising and name, respectively, and McCann had been seen as a strong contender for the assignment.

The budget for the new venture is expected to rival the $61 million Lucent spent on its 1996 launch. The unit is expected to run a U.S. TV and global print campaign targeting investors, customers and employees. The new venture, to be based near HP's Palo Alto, Calif., headquarters, will take over businesses representing $7.6 billion of HP's $47 billion in fiscal 1998 sales. HP, focusing on computers and imaging, announced in March it would spin off the unit starting with an initial public offering of stock later this year.

The branding assignment will not affect relationships with agencies handling product advertising. Think New Ideas, Seattle, which handles the estimated $5 million account of the test and measurement group, is the spinoff's chief product agency.

Copyright April 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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