PacTel Cellular is wiring up to go independent and is likely to launch a search for an agency to handle an image-building campaign, perhaps as early" data-categories = "" data-popup = "" data-ads = "Yes" data-company = "[]" data-outstream = "yes" data-auth = "" >

Cellular Division: PacTel Expected to Seek Shop By J.L. Sulliva

PacTel Cellular is wiring up to go independent and is likely to launch a search for an agency to handle an image-building campaign, perhaps as early

Though company officials have steadfastly declined comment, a series of moves announced ‘quietly’ by their parent company over the past nine months paints the picture of a company preparing for a kickoff campaign.
Since February PacTel Cellular officials have hired Ujjal Kohli as vp/marketing and tapped Tom Bobich for director of advertising, both newly created positions at the subsidiary.
PacTel has also retained Addison Design/S.F. for a new name and logo in preparation for a spin-off from its parent next year. The move is not expected to affect PacTel’s current regional agencies.
This month, the California Public Utilities Commission is expected to consider – and ultimately grant – Walnut Creek, Calif.-based Pacific Telesis Group’s request to spin off PacTel Cellular along with two other wireless operations, and a public stock offering is already in the works.
PacTel Cellular operates divisions in L.A., San Diego, Sacramento and Atlanta, and participates in joint ventures in the S.F. Bay area, Detroit, Dallas, Cincinnati and Cleveland. The company has used various ad agencies in many of these regions to publicize its services on a local basis. But the ad account expected to open up is believed to be a corporate account which would position PacTel against a myriad of competitors expected in the cellular market.
New regulations by the Federal Communications Commission are expected to increase to seven the number of companies allowed to service a given area.
The name change, coupled with the anticipated competition, has set a number of agency mouths to watering. ‘I would think that even though there’s a name change, they would want some continuity, because they’ve built up equity over the years,’ said one. ‘That’s the problem: how do they introduce a new name without losing the equity.’
Though there’s been no ad budget determined, similar operations are spending upwards of $10 million for similar campaigns. And sources who’ve had some discussions with PacTel expect spending to be significant. ‘That was our takeaway,’ one such agency exec said. ‘We walked away saying there’s going to be a big opportunity in the next six to 12 months.’
So far, PacTel Cellular has had no overarching image campaign specific to its segment, relying instead on its parent company’s corporate efforts.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)