The move was made without a review, on the basis that it makes commercial sense for Lotus to use the same agency as IBM, which became its parent in July last year. Media will be handled by O&M, but the shift only removes planning and strategy from Universal McCann as O&M already negotiated rates for IBM and Lotus combined on a worldwide level.
"We want to improve the consistency and increase the amount of our global marketing next year," says Alison Blair, advertising manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, based in the U.K.. "One of the key ways to do this is to leverage IBM's resources and build on its relationship with O&M. We're extremely happy with McCann-Erickson and Hill Holliday's work, but this is about moving forward."
In addition, Lotus will next year put major focus on its Internet Lotus Domino interactive Web application server, which creates interactive Web sites, and which is "at the core of IBM's network computing initiative," says Blair. A "substantial part" of Lotus' 1997 marketing activity will be integrated with that of IBM, she adds.
Lotus's advertising has traditionally targeted the IT industry, but is increasingly focusing on the business market.
Copyright October 1996, Crain Communications Inc.