CHICAGO – Ameritech’s $8-10-million review for its corporate business could be the beginning of a more formal shift of ad dollars into one centralized" data-categories = "" data-popup = "" data-ads = "Yes" data-company = "[]" data-outstream = "yes" >

Ameritech Taps Five to Pitch Its Corporate Business By Jim Kir

CHICAGO – Ameritech’s $8-10-million review for its corporate business could be the beginning of a more formal shift of ad dollars into one centralized

The company announced last week that as part of a reorganization it was sacking corporate agency Bayer Bess Vanderwarker and asking five agencies to pitch the corporate business. Bayer Bess had handled the business since 1988, but remains for now media-buying agency for the company.
Ameritech is talking to roster agencies Tatham Euro RSCG, Chicago, which handles the consumer portion of the business; DDB Needham Chicago, agency for its cellular division; and Cramer-Krasselt/Milwaukee, which handles 911 service. Outside creative heavyweights Fallon McElligott, Minneapolis, and Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore., also were picked to pitch.
Surprisingly, Lintas:Campbell-Ewald/Warren, Mich., which split the bulk of the business with Tatham in a consolidation of Bell business two years ago, wasn’t included. Lintas chairman Richard O’Connor said the agency was ‘tremendously disappointed’ to have been left out. ‘(Creative director) Debbie Karnowsky can stand tall with the Fallon McElligott’s and Wieden & Kennedy’s. We were really surprised.’
The review comes as Ameritech is set to scrap individual Bell names in its five-state territory. Starting next month, consumers will begin making out checks to Ameritech rather than their state units, such as Illinois Bell. The move is part of the company’s overhaul to deal with increasing deregulation pressures.
The new corporate campaign most likely will be instituted to stave off what most observers think will be encroachment on Ameritech’s last remaining monopoly: local service.
‘They want to be the preferred supplier when that day comes,’ said one agency source involved in the review. ‘The way to do that is to make a name for Ameritech.’
The review is being fueled by newly named senior vp/corporate communications Bernie Windon and director of advertising Ray Lewis, who want an agency by November.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)