Merger Could Lead to AirTouch Ad Consolidation

A pending merger between Vodaphone AirTouch and Bell Atlantic Corp.’s wireless division could lead to a consolidation of the resulting company’s advertising account at one of two roster agencies, sources said.
The likely winner of the consolidated account would be Bozell’s New York office, which handles Bell Atlantic’s $100 million wireless account, sources said. Bell Atlantic executives have been placed in charge of the proposed merged operation.
Campbell Mithun Esty in Minneapolis won AirTouch’s $100 million account a year ago after a review. CME officials said that they are continuing to work on the AirTouch account, but declined further comment.
Sources said the company wants to launch a national brand and would probably use a single agency to do so.
Officials from Bozell and Bell Atlantic declined to comment on post-merger ad plans.
Bell Atlantic and AirTouch announced their intentions to merge in September, combining the assets of Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, Primeco Personal Communications and AirTouch Paging. The deal is expected to close this spring.
CME broke its first work for AirTouch last year with a campaign introducing the “AirTouch Promise,” The campaign was tagged, “Now you can.” K