ATLANTA Cellular South said it expects to name semifinalists next week in the review for its $8-12 million advertising account.
Based in Jackson, Miss., the wireless provider said Select Resources International in West Hollywood, Calif., is assisting in the agency selection process.
Incumbent Fletcher Martin Ewing, a Maxxcom shop in Atlanta, has declined to defend the account, which it has held for five years.
Jana Long, advertising manager for the client, said requests for proposals were issued to a number of agencies throughout the country. Long said Cellular South is looking for an agency that is larger than the incumbent (FME bills about $100 million annually) to help it establish new markets.
The company does business in Mississippi, along the Alabama and Florida gulf coasts and in Memphis, Tenn. It has licenses to provide wireless service in Arkansas, but has not moved into that market yet, according to Long.
Long said she is looking for an agency with a strong retail background and a strategic approach to branding in order to differentiate the regional provider from the national brands. "In our product we already do that," she said. "We need the marketing strength and strategy to back that up."