Y&R Gains in Shift by New Marketing Chief
NEW YORK–Telecommunications giant AT&T has shifted its creative assignments among roster shops Young & Rubicam and Foote, Cone & Belding, with Y&R ending up with the majority of the business, sources said.
The move is part of an overall re-evaluation of AT&T’s communications partners, though exactly which assignments switched and their billings was unclear at press time.
“There’s not much more to do,” said an agency executive close to AT&T, indicating that the client’s rejiggering is over for the time being. The realignment comes six months after former Bank of America and MasterCard executive Eugene Lockhart was installed as chief marketing officer at AT&T. Lockhart helmed reviews at both those companies.
Prior to the shift, FCB handled creative on long-distance, personal network, business-to-business and wireless (via its San Francisco office). AT&T spent an estimated $300 million to advertise those services last year. Wireless duties were not affected, sources said.
Y&R’s duties included corporate brand advertising, WorldNet Internet access and 10-10-345 (formerly Lucky Dog). Those tasks received at least $200 million on above-the-line activity alone. In total, AT&T spent $556 million on media in 1998.
Media duties remain at The Media Edge. No direct marketing tasks have shifted, sources said. Lead direct shop Bronnercom in Boston recently added all of AT&T’s interactive business without a review. Y&R and FCB declined comment and the client could not be reached late
Friday. –with David Gianatasio and Jane Irene Kelly
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