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VTEL Eyes 12 For Corporate Image Account

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BOSTON-A dozen agencies across the country are being considered by VTEL to handle the videoconferencing company's first global corporate image campaign.
According to Grant Schneider, a Boston-based marketing consultant heading the review, the contenders are: Rubin Postaer and Associates in Santa Monica, Calif.; Goldberg Moser O'Neill in San Francisco; Hampel/Stefanides, Fallon McElligott Berlin, Hanft Byrne Raboy Abrams & Partners, DDB Needham and Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, all in New York; Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos and Holland Mark Martin Edmund, both in Boston; Mullen in Wenham, Mass.; Arian, Lowe & Travis Advertising in Chicago; and GSD&M in Austin, Texas.
VTEL executives expect to meet with most of the agencies over the next two weeks and cut the field to three or four finalists.
At least four shops have considerable experience with VTEL executives. Officials at Hampel/Stefanides, DDB Needham and HBRA&P worked with VTEL chief operating officer Gerry Benson when he was president of NEC Technologies. GMO worked with VTEL marketing director Barry Rumac in his previous job at Dell Computer.
VTEL shareholders this spring approved a merger with another videoconferencing company, Compression Labs. That union boosted VTEL into the No. 2 position in the category behind PictureTel in Waltham, Mass. VTEL expects an annual revenue of $200 million, according to the client. By comparison, PictureTel reported revenues of $482 million in 1996.
SicolaMartin in Austin, Texas, which had handled VTEL's general marketing, interactive and collateral assignments, resigned the account in August citing a conflict with another client.
Billings are estimated at between $5-8 million, but that figure is expected to increase as the market for videoconferencing grows, Schneider said. -with staff reports