Cingular Assigns Retail Work

The Integer Group has won the retail branding business of Cingular Wireless.

The Golden, Colo.-based consumer specialist won the account, which entailscreating all in-store communications for the nation’s second-largest wireless telecom, after a review that included Upshot in Chicago, Einson Freeman in New York and EM2 here.

Cingular Wireless is based in Atlanta.

A final budget for the assignment has not yet been determined.

Wanamaker/MMI, the Atlanta consultancy that conducted the review for Cingular’s $250 million general marketing account—won by BBDO’s New York and Atlanta units—also managed this contest.

“We were assigned the retail and promotions part of the business,” said Integer president Kathy Leonard. “We will work in concert with BBDO to deliver the brand experience in the retail environment.”

The high-profile undertaking, to be handled jointly by Integer’s Atlanta and Dallas’ units, essentially encompasses creating the new brand’s on-the-ground presence for some 19 million customers in 38 states.

Integer’s most difficult challenge, said Leonard, will be integrating 11 existing BellSouth/SBC brands into one “national footprint,” even as the first elements of BBDO’s campaign begin to break.

“We have to move very quickly,” she said, “to get that brand story into the stores.”

Upshot, whose clients include Absolut Vodka in New York and Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis, had been considered by some to be the favorite because of a number of projects it had handled for the BellSouth/SBC spin-off.

EM2, an 11-person boutique headed by Chris Martin and Maxie Andress, presented stellar creative work during the review process, according to sources, but simply did not have the staffing to handle the assignment.

“[EM2] had no concept of the scope of this assignment,” said a source close to the review.