DALLAS-The recent merger of SBC Communications and Pacific Telesis has yielded another ad account consolidation, with GSD&M in Austin, Texas, earning the $10 million Pac Bell Yellow Pages business.
The account was previously handled by Foote, Cone & Belding in San Francisco.
The shift, which both agencies and the client declined to confirm, comes in the wake of the consolidation of other accounts for like services offered by the regional phone companies. Sources said GSD&M was notified of the move in mid-July.
Though it already handles Southwestern Bell Yellow Pages, GSD&M will likely continue employing a separate positioning for Pac Bell to capitalize on that brand’s established identity on the West Coast. Specific ad plans were unclear last week.
GSD&M’s win continues a pattern of SBC roster shops being handed lucrative accounts from Pac Bell agencies without reviews, following the April 1 announcement of the SBC-Pacific Telesis merger.
In June, Ketchum Advertising in San Francisco lost its Pac Bell long-distance business to SBC shop Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco. The account had potential billings of $40 million. Goodby has since expanded its work for SBC.
GSD&M itself has been a key beneficiary of SBC’s efforts to streamline its stable of shops, a process that began last year. Last July, GSD&M was awarded SBC’s $40 million consolidated wireless account, followed by SW Bell Yellow Pages, then estimated at $30-35 million in billings.
GSD&M’s transformation into a key SBC agency was somewhat unlikely. Prior to the consolidation efforts, its only SBC work was on Call Notes business, worth an estimated $3 million. Its combined SBC billings now approach $100 million. -with Jane Irene Kelly
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