L.A. Cellular Embarks On $20 Mil. Agency Search

L.A. Cellular is conducting an agency search to replace incumbent BBDO West here on its estimated $20 million ad account. BBDO declined to defend the business.
Select Resources International in Los Angeles will oversee the review for the Cerritos, Calif.-based client. The account includes both creative and media duties. California agencies and the California offices of national agencies will be considered, sources said.
L.A. Cellular is a California partnership between AT&T Wireless Services and BellSouth Cellular Corp.
Executives at BBDO West said they resigned the account after learning about the review. “After talking with the client about it, we determined that it made no sense to participate,” said Tom Hollerbach, executive vice president and general manager.
“We have great respect for BBDO and the people there who supported our business,” said Greg Farrell, vice president of marketing for L.A. Cellular. “We are disappointed that BBDO has decided not to participate in the account review, but we understand the business reasons behind the decision.”
BBDO, which had handled the account for nearly two years, created an award-winning “Lost words” campaign for the company. Ads showed words such as “the,” “darling” and “parakeet” in hidden settings to demonstrate the company’s promise of providing fewer lost words in cell phone conversations. The tag: “Preserving the power of words.”
Mark Fenske’s The Bomb Factory, Venice, Calif., handled the account prior to BBDO West.