Telecom Concludes Realignment

Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulous has been tapped to handle the expanded Northeast retail advertising account of Verizon Wireless.

The selection solves the last piece of a complicated puzzle, which saw the client consolidate its regional territories this month from seven to four [Adweek, June 11].

The New York office of the Interpublic Group agency—which already handles the client’s business for New England, the metro New York area and upstate New York—now adds the work for several mid-Atlantic markets previously held by Bozell in New York, a Hill, Holliday representative said. The Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., markets have been shifted to the agency.

Hill, Holliday won the estimated $50 million Northeast retail account last November. The Hill, Holliday representative would not disclose the budget for the added markets, and the client could not immediately be reached.

Verizon Wireless’ Southwest regional account recently moved from Bates in Houston to Erwin-Penland in Greenville, S.C. That shop, which already held the $25 million Southeast account, will now handle both pieces of business in a combined “South” territory.

Erwin-Penland will be responsible for retail advertising (television, radio, print, outdoor and collateral), media planning as well as conference and event management for a territory extending from the Carolinas south through Florida and west through Texas.

In the West, the California and Northwest markets were combined into a single entity with a $40 million budget, which will be handled by Campbell Mithun of Minneapolis.

Sources said an expanded 15-state Midwest territory was awarded to incumbent 02 Ideas in Birmingham, Ala.

Bozell continues to handle Verizon Wireless’ national advertising assignment.

Verizon’s territorial reorganization takes place less than a year after the agencies which worked with predecessor companies Bell Atlantic and Vodaphone vied for the business of the nation’s largest wireless communications provider in a review. Agencies were asked to resubmit their credentials this time, but not provide any additional creative work.

The account moves become effective July 1.

Bedminster, N.J.-based Verizon Wireless spent more than $450 million on advertising last year, according to CMR.