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Polycom Calls on Stephenz Group

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The Stephenz Group continues to win technology accounts despite significant ad-budget cuts in the struggling sector. Polycom is the latest company to hand advertising duties to the San Jose, Calif., shop.

"The good news is there are companies out there looking for agency partners to help them," said Barbara Zenz, president of the 20-year-old agency. Unlike last year, when clients took a quick-fix, "give me a brand" approach, Zenz said businesses are now looking to form deeper relationships with shops.

Polycom awarded its estimated $3 million business to The Stephenz Group after a review that included four other, Bay Area agencies. Publicis Technology in San Francisco formerly handled the account.

The company spent more than $3 million on advertising in 2000 and more than $1 million in the first 11 months of 2001, according to CMR.

The Stephenz Group plans to work with Polycom to hammer out strategic integrated programs and develop customer awareness, Zenz said.

Polycom is a 12-year-old com pany best known for manufacturing audio- and video-conferencing equipment. The firm also produces other broadband appliances designed to make it easier for business professionals to use voice, video and data together.

The Milpitas, Calif.-based com pany has alliances with Cisco Systems, Jetstream Communications, Lucent Technologies and Microsoft, among other firms. A Polycom representative was not available for comment at press time.

The Polycom win comes just months after The Stephenz Group landed the $4-5 million international advertising and marketing business of Pacific Broadband Communications. The agency won the San Jose-based telecommunications com pany's business-to-business account in October after a national search.