DOWNSIDE: And yet ... just when it seemed HP's image was as strong as it had been in years, the executive board scandal erupted with ugly accusations flying over secret investigations and behind-the-scenes wrangling. While the scandal probably won't seriously dent sales, it could tarnish the HP reputation. Last year's massive layoffs and severe cutbacks are mostly over, but marketing is still in recovery. Observers say the marketing operation has been given freer rein to create, but with a smaller budget and staff. Printing and imaging could also face challenges as the digital camera market cools.
AD BUDGET: $832.6 million
* Interpublic's McCann Erickson, San Francisco
* Omnicom's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco
* Publicis' Publicis & Hal Riney and ZenithOptimedia, San Francisco