AT&T Broadband has hired Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, New York, to review the cable unit's marketing strategies and positioning as it "approaches a change," the client confirmed.
The consulting assignment, which does not include creative or media, will not affect New York-based roster shops Jordan McGrath Case & Partners, which handles corporate-image advertising, and Wunderman, which has direct duties, said Andrew Johnson, vp of external communications at AT&T Broadband. Kirshenbaum president Rosemarie Ryan will lead the effort, sources said.
The decision comes as AT&T Broadband discusses possible mergers or deals with other media and cable-TV firms--AOL Time Warner among them--and two weeks after it rejected an unsolicited $40 billion stock-swap bid from Comcast.
An undisclosed number of agencies visited the client's Denver headquarters last month to present strategic ideas (Adweek, July 16). At the time, the assignment was billed as an effort to position the cable unit as it approached a planned IPO, which has since been delayed to explore financial and strategic alternatives, the client said. The client declined to say whether the scope of the project will change now that AT&T Broadband's future plans are in flux. A company representative at Kirshenbaum declined to comment.
Billings for the assignment were not disclosed. According to CMR, AT&T's broadband business spent about $40 million on measured media in 2001 and more than $20 million in the first three months of this year.