By Jennifer Comiteau and Alison Fahey
NEW YORK--Ameritech on Friday named two finalists for its consumer, small business and brand advertising accounts, after eliminating three other contenders.
Ammirati Puris Lintas and BBDO, both based in New York, survived the cut and will 'work with Ameritech over the next two weeks to more fully develop programs and plans as the company makes a final decision on one agency,' the company said in a statement.
Lowe & Partners/SMS here and Campbell Mithun Esty, Minneapolis, were eliminated, as was Ameritech incumbent agency Leo Burnett in Chicago. Agency executives either declined comment or referred calls to the Chicago-based company.
Incumbent agencies DDB Needham in Chicago and Fallon McElligott in Minneapolis were eliminated from the review in an earlier round. While Burnett loses responsibility for advertising Ameritech's residential service, it will remain media agency of record, the client said.
The selection of Ammirati Puris Lintas and BBDO followed strategic and creative presentations made the week of June 9.
Ammirati Puris Lintas presented three campaigns to the client. The one the agency is most enthusiastic about centers around a series of commercials featuring recurring characters that interact with different Ameritech products. One tagline under consideration for those humorous spots, according to sources, is: 'Helping people connect.' In another Ammirati campaign, the Ameritech logo morphs into the word 'Answers.'
BBDO, meanwhile, presented one campaign that a source described as 'tapping into real middle-American values.' --with Trevor Jensen and Scott Hume
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