The US West agency roster is answering the call for a review of the Denver-based Baby Bell's $25-30 million broadcast media-buying account.
BBDO/Minneapolis, participating in the review, has been US West's broadcast media buying agency of record for the past three years.
CME-KHBB/Minneapolis, which handles the residential, credit card and home -based business divisions; Grey Advertising/L.A. which handles the US West corporate account; Rubin Postaer & Associates/Santa Monica, Calif., which works on the small business division; and Saatchi & Saatchi/Pacific, S.F., agency for public phones, government and business services and customer information, have all answered initial inquiries, sources indicated last week. Those shops currently handle media planning, but not buying, for their respective businesses.
US West, working with consultant Maneloveg Marketing Services, has asked each of the agencies on its roster to submit what's been described as a credentials questionnaire. Though US West media services supervisor Vicki Allen confirmed the company had launched the review, she declined to reveal agencies participating because they had not all responded at press time.
Allen said the review does not reflect any displeasure with BBDO, saying the company had decided to launch the contest because in telecommunications 'the dynamics are changing so rapidly we just want to make sure we're not missing something. That's true of the media industry as well.'
Also an issue are what Allen called 'fiduciary responsibilities.' With the soft economy and cost pressures on all businesses, Allen said the company feels it important to ask some hard questions about the bang it's getting for its media buck. 'Does someone have a better idea, or a different way that addresses all our needs and will cost us less? The point is we don't know, and we'll never know unless we start asking questions and go through a process like we're going through.'
From what Allen described as a 'fairly long and complex questionnaire,' officials will invite an undetermined number of respondents to an 'in-person demonstration.' She added that the current roster of US West agencies will continue to handle their respective assignments, regardless of the outcome of the review.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)