After months of speculation following the merger of Hewlett-Packard and Compaq Computer, the combined entity has consolidated its global media buying business – said to be worth upward of $275 million – with Zenith Optimedia, the media arm of Publicis Groupe.

The announcement Thursday by HP’s marketing communications vp, Gary Elliott, came just days after it emerged that the account was to be awarded without a formal review.

A crumb of comfort has been tossed to Initiative Media, New York, which previously handled media buying for Compaq. The shop will retain a small piece of business in Europe.

Publicis & Hal Riney, San Francisco, and its overseas sister-shops which formerly handled broadcast buying for HP, will continue to perform media planning duties; while Publicis will also serve as HP’s global agency network responsible for products and solutions advertising.

Goodby Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, retains its tenure as lead agency for global brand advertising and plus brand media planning.

Commented Elliott: “Consolidating agency resources was an essential part of creating one brand and one voice for the company.”

He also revealed that a direct marketing review is currently in progress with former Compaq incumbent DraftWorldwide a participant in that process. Elliott declined to name the other contenders.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff