Polaroid consolidates at B Com3

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Polaroid Corp., Cambridge, Mass., consolidated its $100 million global account with the B Com3 Group, leveraging the global resources of its European agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty, London, in which the holding company has a 49% stake.

The deal has the most impact on Polaroid's North American roster, however, where Chicago-based Leo Burnett USA takes over the U.S. creative account from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco. Goodby has been agency of record for seven years and was instrumental in helping the ailing camera maker launch and market its teen-targeted I-Zone Instant Pocket Camera, which resulted in a record-setting 1999 for Polaroid in sales. This week Polaroid broke a global TV campaign for the I-Zone with four new spots from Goodby, part of Polaroid's first-ever year-round ad effort.

"It's never been a problem of [Goodby's] work,'' a Polaroid spokesman said. "It's the politics of business.'' In addition, a conflict resulting from Goodby client Hewlett-Packard Co., which recently entered into a partnership with Eastman Kodak Co. centering on digital imaging products, fueled Polaroid's decision to make the change.

Leo Burnett Co. also replaces BBDO Worldwide in Canada and Mexico. In Japan, Dentsu, Tokyo, a significant minority stakeholder in B Com3, replaces Hakuhodo.

Media buying and planning will be handled globally by Starcom Worldwide, Chicago, except in Japan, where Dentsu will handle media duties. Media was previously handled by Creative Media, New York. The account consolidation occurred without a review, and no other agencies were considered, a spokesman said. This is the first new-business win for the B Com3 Group, which formed in January by the merger of Leo Group and MacManus Group, followed by a significant minority investment from Dentsu.

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