Leslie Advertising in Greenville, S.C., defeated a handful of undisclosed challengers to become the first agency of record for the fledgling Carolina PCS.
Billings for the newly organized wireless telephone company were not disclosed. One source estimated that the client's inaugural 12-month budget would amount to $2-3 million.
Carolina PCS does not represent the agency's initial brush with the telecommunications business, though it is the shop's first time in the category in several years.
"In the mid-'80s we handled a company called Line One," said agency president Carlos Jimenez. "That company was bought by a regional company that eventually became MCI. We were with them from inception until they were sold three years later."
Carolina PCS will offer personal communication services in 40 counties in South Carolina, covering most of the state, as well as portions of Georgia and North Carolina. According to founder and chief executive officer Mike Green, the new company will begin service later this year. Green is in the process of moving his operation to Greenville, which played a role in Leslie Advertising being considered for the account.
"It wasn't an easy decision," Green said. "We looked at three or four agencies. Leslie impressed us as being a very professional organization. We believe [the agency's] integrated marketing plan will help us successfully launch Carolina PCS in South Carolina and inform our potential customers of the benefits we offer."
He did not identify the other agencies under consideration.
Green's experience in the telecommunications business goes back to his time as the founder of CellularOne/North Carolina 4 Cellular Co., a startup concern that began in 1992 and was sold for $62 million in 1996.
"The landscape is right for competition in South Carolina," Green said. "We're going to focus on our customers and service."