Internet’s Verio Seeks Ad Partner

National Internet service provider Verio is looking for its first advertising partner via a nationwide search, according to Steve Silvers, a client representative. Billings for the account were undisclosed.
Silvers could not reveal a marketing budget because the company is in the midst of a mandatory 30-day quiet period following its initial public offering last month. Its filing with Securities and Exchange Commission contained no spending figures.
Verio hopes to “evolve into a major presence through advertising,” Silvers said, and is “looking for an agency that can be a partner in the long run.” Previous advertising, mostly newspaper print work, was done on a project basis.
Four unidentified shops–two in Denver, one in Portland, Ore., and one in New York–are developing strategies to present at the end of the month. Silvers stressed that Verio hasn’t ruled out other shops. Creative and media may be split or awarded jointly. “We’re looking for a personality fit right now,” said Silvers.
Silvers said Verio will keep its tagline, “National Internet. Local service, ” and simple green logo.
The review is being handled by Lawrence Phipps, director of marketing communications for the Englewood, Colo.-based company.
Verio offers a range of services, from high-speed, dedicated Internet access to consulting, Web hosting, private network building and Internet security. It targets small to midsized businesses, as well as universities and larger companies. Since its founding two years ago, Verio has acquired or purchased majority stakes in more than 30 local Internet providers, according to published reports.
Board members and employees own 16 percent of Verio. The company is also partly owned by WorldCom, with an approximately 15 percent stake, and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone, with a 12 percent stake.