Concentric Network Looks For an Agency

Internet service provider Concentric Network is conducting a review for its estimated $50 million ad account, and is talking with agencies nationwide–especially those with a West Coast presence, according to sources.
Concentric Network, San Jose, Calif., began asking for credentials last month. It has now entered the next stage of the review, working with a select list of agencies that will be narrowed down this month to a group of finalists, said sources.
Executives with the client did not return phone calls at press time.
In this round, agencies are being asked to demonstrate their understanding of Concentric Network’s business and its competitors. They are also required to present the staffers who would make up the account team. Also, the client is requesting the agencies offer ideas on how to brand Concentric Network with advertising directed primarily at the small-to-midsized business market.
Lately, Concentric Network has been aggressively marketing its products, which include high-speed digital subscriber line (DSL) service, Web hosting and e-commerce services. The target market has been small and midsized businesses that want to sell their products over the Internet.
Earlier this year, SBC Communications invested nearly $20 million in Concentric Network in order to integrate the latter’s Internet-based data services and technology into its portfolio for business customers.
Agencies currently in the review will make presentations this month to senior executives at Concentric Network, including chairman and chief executive officer Hank Nothhaft, said sources.
Concentric Network is expected to choose an agency this fall, said sources. It is not known if a new campaign will break before the end of the year. The client is expected to tout the affordability and ease of use of its products and services in ads,
said sources.