Qwest Preps Review

NEW YORK Qwest Communications confirmed it would launch a search for a new creative agency, but gave no date for when the process would begin.

The Denver-based client spent $95 million in U.S. measured media last year, per TNS Media Intelligence.

Interpublic Group’s Foote Cone & Belding won the business in August 2002 when the incumbent was Omnicom Group’s DDB in Chicago.

Following the merger last June of FCB and sibling Draft, the new agency, DraftFCB, formed a separate unit to handle Qwest so that it would not conflict with the agency’s Verizon business.

The unit, called Rivet, operates in Chicago, New York and London, and is managed separately from DraftFCB. A representative for Rivet declined to comment. Recent Qwest materials have touted the company’s “Spirit of service.”

Qwest is “formalizing a new internal process about creative development and execution,” the client representative said, adding that as part of that process they will be inviting “selected agencies” to submit credentials and ideas “later this year.”

Qwest provides local and broadband service to customers in 14 Western states, and it resells wireless service through an agreement with Sprint Nextel. (Sprint is in the final stages of its own account review with two shops emerging today as finalists.)