MICRON MOVES PC ACC'T TO GOLDBERG: CEO KOCHER TAPS EX-DELL SHOP TO BUILD BRAND

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Micron Electronics' move to Goldberg Moser O'Neill puts the San Francisco agency back in the PC game just 15 days after it resigned Dell Computer Corp.

Micron's agency shift, which had been the subject of speculation in tech circles (AA, April 19), reunites Goldberg Moser with Micron Chairman-CEO Joel Kocher, a former senior executive at Dell.

Goldberg Moser succeeds Bam!, an Austin, Texas, shop that developed a campaign for Micron last year with the theme "New rules. New tools."

A change in agencies had been expected with the resignation this month of Micron VP-Worldwide Marketing Mark Gonzales, and with the anticipated departure of Mike Rosenfelt, who has had the title creative director/marketing weasel. Messrs. Gonzales and Rosenfelt had close ties to Bam!

Goldberg Moser last month resigned the estimated $70 million to $90 million product account of No. 1 PC direct seller Dell, ending its 11-year relationship after part of the account went in review. Dell is expected to pick a new agency this week.

MICRON'S WOES

Micron, a distant No. 3 in direct PCs behind Dell and Gateway, has been laboring with the free fall in PC pricing. Its sales in the second quarter ended March 4 fell 24.5% over the same quarter in the previous year, to $373.6 million, as profits plummeted 83.2% to $4.2 million. By contrast, Dell's sales climbed 38% to $5.2 billion as profits leaped 49% to $425 million in the fourth quarter ended Jan. 29.

Some people close to Micron say Mr. Kocher is grooming the company for sale. He wasn't available for comment at press time.

Agency Chairman-CEO Fred Goldberg said Micron's weakness is its lack of brand image.

SEES STRONG ASSETS

Mr. Goldberg said Micron has strong assets, including a reputation for high-performance machines and strong customer service, along with clever programs such as Micron University, which offers Web-based PC training for Micron owners.

He said Micron has good opportunities in the midsize business market, a segment Mr. Kocher targeted after his arrival last year.

Micron, Mr. Goldberg said, can be more agile than the giants.

"It's always better working with the David than the Goliath," he said, "especially when it comes to creativity."

Mr. Goldberg, who put Dell on the map with tough comparative ads against Compaq Computer Corp., didn't say if Micron would whack Dell in its ads. But there could be other foils: Mr. Goldberg noted that Micron can grow by taking business away from resellers, which sell brands such as Compaq.

Mr. Kocher worked closely with the agency as Dell's president of worldwide

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