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 user 2009-03-31 at 11:47:13 am Views: 38
  • #22245

    Kodak Takes on H-P, Seiko Epson With New Ad Campaign
    March 09 — Eastman Kodak Co. has started a new global marketing campaign emphasizing the low ink costs associated with its consumer printers, taking on rivals such as Hewlett-Packard Co. and Seiko Epson Corp.The “Print and Prosper” campaign, begun yesterday in the U.S. and Canada, will use television, newspapers and the Internet to try to convince consumers to switch to Kodak printers, the Rochester, New York-based company said in a statement. Kodak will start marketing in other countries in coming months.

    Chief Executive Officer Antonio Perez, who spent 25 years at Hewlett-Packard helping develop its printers, has pegged the devices as one of Kodak’s three “core investments.” The company’s printers sell for 15 percent to 35 percent more than those from rivals including Hewlett-Packard, Seiko Epson, Lexmark International Inc. and Canon Inc., while ink costs about half as much, allowing customers to save an average of $110 on ink a year, according to Kodak.“George Eastman wanted to make photography affordable for everyone,” Kodak Chief Marketing Officer Jeffrey Hayzlett said in an interview today, referring to the camera pioneer who founded the company in 1880. “Now we’re trying to make printing affordable for everyone.”Sales have declined since 2006 at Kodak, which has forecast a fourth straight annual revenue drop for 2009. The company introduced its consumer-inkjet printers in 2007, the year it concluded a $3.4 billion restructuring that eliminated 28,000 jobs in an effort to shift its focus to digital products from traditional film.

    ‘People Who Print’
    With the new campaign, Kodak is targeting “high ink- burners,” or people who print a lot, Hayzlett said. The company set up a Web site where consumers can calculate the difference in ink costs if they switched to a Kodak printer. It’s also using blogs and social-networking sites to spread awareness.More than a million consumers are using Kodak’s printers, and the company is aiming to double that number this year, it said. Advertising agency Deutsch Inc. developed the campaign for Kodak, which didn’t disclose exactly how much the marketing would cost.

    Spending Millions
    “We’re spending a significant amount,” Hayzlett said. “It’s in the many millions of dollars.”Cross Research analyst Shannon Cross estimated in February that the consumer-inkjet business costs Kodak more than $300 million a year, and said abandoning the venture would help conserve cash. Cross cut her price target on Kodak’s stock to $1 from $6 at the time, and said the company may announce a restructuring in 2010 to follow one this year. Kodak said in January it will eliminate as many as 4,500 jobs in a 2009 overhaul that may cost as much as $300 million.Canon will “keep developing and selling products to meet our customers’ needs,” the Tokyo-based company, Japan’s largest maker of office equipment, said in an e-mailed response to Kodak’s campaign. Kenkichi Shibata, a spokesman for Seiko Epson in Tokyo, declined to comment. Calls placed to Hewlett-Packard and Lexmark weren’t returned.