HP, Omnicom join on print

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HP, Omnicom join on print
HP, Omnicom join on print

The small but growing digital printing segment received a major boost last week, when Hewlett-Packard, the Palo Alto, CA-based computer manufac­turer, and Omnicom Group Inc., the New York-based marketing holding company, said they will co-pilot a digital print supply chain for several multinational brands in 2008.

Digital print has received a lot of attention recently, with benefits including its ability to customize print jobs and streamline print production. Currently, only a small portion of printing world­wide is done via digital.

Omnicom spotted a strategic opportunity in this trend, prompt­ing its partnership with HP. “Of the 50 trillion pages that were printed [worldwide] last year, only 9% were printed digitally,” said Andrew Robertson, president/CEO of BBDO Worldwide, a key advertising agency in the Omni­com group, via e-mail. “To us, [the digital print space] screams opportunities.”

The deal between HP and Omnicom is a boon to digital print because of the impressive size of the partners involved. Its significance is that “two premier brands are making a commitment to and validating the advantages of digital printing through a part­nership that can extend to cus­tomers and create a competitive advantage” for Omnicom and its clients, according to Doug Vaughan, VP of communica­tions for the Imaging and Printing Group at HP.

“Digital print is only going to accelerate in terms of growth,” Vaughan continued. “With the improved speeds and better costs of digital, it's not a matter of if it [accelerates], but when it does.”

He added that there is interest in what HP and Omnicom are doing — not only from the latter's client base but from other communications companies as well.

In 2007, HP's Imaging and Printing Group had a net revenue growth rate of 1.8%. It was the second fastest growing division within the company, after the Personal Systems Group.

The cornerstone of the partnership will be how HP and Omnicom leverage the advantages of digital print from the point of creation all the way through distribution.

“We are going to work with HP to design new ways to use its Web-enabled services to transform the way print can be used in marketing communications, increasing efficiency and efficacy, and reducing the impact on the environment,” Robertson said, calling the program a “The win, win, win, win” for the parties involved.

The pilot program is expected to begin sometime in the next six months.

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