Lexmark, Circuit City partner for wireless inkjet ads

Lexmark International has partnered with retailer Circuit City to pitch its newest wireless inkjet printers in an offbeat television advertising campaign.

Ads airing on cable networks throughout August tout the benefit of being cord-free, as a family plays on its laptops but finds itself tangled in the mess of cords needed to print.

”We come in as the perfect solution to liberate you from that, to break the chains from the printers,“ said José Chacon, a Lexmark senior manager of brand marketing who helped develop the ad.

The campaign focuses around the company's home and student inkjet printer products, said Todd Hamblin, vice president of sales and marketing for the company's inkjet division.

Other elements of the campaign include placements in Circuit City's weekly newspaper circulars, mentions on, and highly visible in-store displays, Hamblin said.

The TV ads, which promote a $30 discount on Lexmark wireless printers at Circuit City, began Aug. 10 and will run for three weeks. They're airing on cable networks including USA, TBS, TNT, the Discovery Channel and the Weather Channel.

Hamblin said the company has also purchased some spots locally in Lexington.

”That's something that every time we do a major initiative like this, we buy some local airtime to continue to support our local community,“ he said.

Coping with cartridges

Speaking of wireless, Chief Financial Officer John Gamble Jr. addressed the issue of dwindling ink cartridge sales and the expected impact from wireless printers during a recent investor conference call.

Gamble told listeners to a July 25 call hosted by FTN Midwest that the company thinks its ink cartridge revenue has dropped steeply because of its decision to lower its installed base of printers by pulling out of underperforming areas.

The company has pulled out of 20 percent of its sales and then 30 percent of its remaining sales since 2006, as it seeks to stop selling printers to people who don't print enough.

Its decision to focus on products like all-in-ones, which feature copying, scanning and sometimes faxing features, as well as wireless printers, ”should result in higher usage per placement,“ Gamble said.

”We think the trend should be that as we do better and better in placing a higher and higher percentage of wireless and higher-end product and business-class product that our overall usage should improve,“ he said.

Lexmark larceny

Lastly, the company received a strange mention recently on the Internet, courtesy of crime reports from eastern North Carolina.

On Aug. 7, a resident in Kinston, N.C., reported a theft at her home, according to

Taken were the following: Five personal checks, a house key, two Lexmark ink cartridges valued at $50 and ... wait for it ... 95 estrogen pills.