Siddall, Matus & Coughter has been named lead agency by NHC Communications.
The Richmond, Va., agency was assigned the $8-10 million account without a review.
"NHC is a significant client for us," said agency chairman John Siddall. "The magnitude of the work involved is quite substantial and all encompassing."
The client, a Montreal maker of robotic-based connectors that enable companies like BellSouth, Quest and Verizon to deliver services, moved its marketing and sales staff to Manassas, Va., late last year. According to Dain Bolling, client vice president of marketing and new business development, NHC needed an agency that understood the importance of branding.
"In our industry, all technologies tend to blend together," he said. "We wanted a shop that was fairly local, but that could provide the quality you'd expect from a big New York agency."
Cynthia Schmidt, SM&C vice president and account supervisor, said, "Dain liked that we were bringing in all the disciplines—public relations, direct mail,interactive and advertising" and that "we know how to operate in business-to-business and trade environments."
SM&C's immediate focus is on developing an internal branding campaign.
"Everything must be true to the brand," said Bolling. "[The agency] will handle product packaging, trade show booths, product documentation, everything."
Breaking in April, the campaign involves print advertising in Telephony, Exchange, Fortune, BusinessWeek and Wired. Broadcast may come later.
"Once the campaign has had time to generate revenue we'll target areas for television," said Bolling. Online advertising will be aimed at the vertical industry portals CLEC.com and telecomclick.com.
NHC's target clients are incumbent exchange carriers and local and regional telephone companies.
"We're being very specific with our branding," Bolling said. "We're listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, but as we go on to the Nasdaq, we'll send the message to the investor base."
The campaign, created by art director Chris Nott and copywriter Roy Davines, is the first for the agency's new creative lineup. Veteran creative director Tommy Thompson is now copywriting exclusively for client Freddie Mac. ShariHindman, senior art director, and Davines will share the duties of executive creative director.