B/O Will Take On Telco Giants for Dialog

ATLANTA Dialog Telecommuni-
cations has hired Boone/Oakley as its first advertising agency following a review, the shop said.

The Charlotte, N.C. independent shop prevailed in a credentials pitch over local rivals Corder Phillips & Wilson, Wray Ward Laseter, Price/McNabb, Sterrett Dymond Stewart, Planet Central and one other undisclosed agency.

Agency co-founder John Boone credited the account win to previous telecom experience he and partner David Oakley gained while working on Alltel’s Faith Hill campaign while at Interpublic Group’s The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va. Boone was also a copywriter on the BellSouth account while freelancing at New York’s Merkley Newman Harty & Partners, an Omnicom company.

The Charlotte-based provider of local and long-distance telephone service, which operates in North Carolina, Kentucky and Mississippi, plans to spend $1 million on media in 2004 as it expands into the Texas market.

Dialog offers flat monthly fees of $35 for local service and $60 for local and long distance. “The challenge will be to get people to look into their phone service and think about what they’re being charged for and get them to switch by showing they can save money,” said Boone.

B/O will create print, radio and direct mail messages. Television, according to Boone, is a possibility in the future.

Initial advertising, expected in early 2004, will take on the industry giants. “There’s so much fertile ground in all the negative things about local phone service,” said Boone. “It’ll be a David and Goliath story—and we’re the good guys.”