Sources: SNET Intends to Select New York Shop – Publicis Is Seen as Winner of Review Involving Conn. Agencies

By David Gianatasio

BOSTON–Southern New England Telecommunications is expected to move creative and media planning duties from an agency in its region this week, tapping Publicis/Bloom in New York to handle that portion of its ad business, sources said.

The New Haven, Conn., client was in late-stage contract negotiations with the agency last week and is expected to make an announcement of the account shift by the middle of this week, sources said.

Jim Mezoff, director of advertising services at SNET, declined to comment, as did at Publicis executives.

Annual account billings are $15 million, the client has said.

Publicis will now handle creative development and media planning for all of the company’s products and services, sources said.

Media Inc. in New York will continue to do media buying.

That portion of the account was not included in the review that SNET began in January following Mezoff’s arrival from New York agency Bates USA.

The review–twice stalled in 1996 as a result of executive changes in SNET’s marketing ranks–was undertaken with the goal of consolidating creative duties at a single shop.

Three Connecticut agencies also were finalists in the review that was managed by consultant Herb Zeltner of Salem,. N.Y.

Decker in Glastonbury, Conn.; North Castle Partners in Stamford, Conn.; and Mintz & Hoke in Avon, Conn., were the other advertising agencies participating in the competition’s final round.

Decker and North Castle are both SNET roster agencies.

Decker has handled significant corporate assignments and long-distance promotions while North Castle has worked primarily on direct marketing assignments.

Stamford, Conn.-based Marquardt & Roche/Meditz & Hackett has worked on business-to-business projects but was not involved in the recent review.

Sheer size rather than category experience put Publicis/Bloom over the top, according to sources.

Looking to compete against rivals like AT&T and Nynex in the burgeoning and fast-changing telecommunications market, SNET executives believed Publicis’ resources and consumer expertise were essential, sources said.

–with Teresa Andreoli

Copyright ASM Communications, Inc. (1997) ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

New England