NEW YORK -- Verizon SuperPages has ended its relationship with Deutsch, the client confirmed.
The decision came after some weeks of discussion about whether or not Deutsch's win of some of the MCI WorldCom business last month posed a conflict. As recently as Friday, discussions were ongoing between the client, Deutsch and Interpublic Group about the status of the account [Adweek, Feb.25].
The $30 million account involves creative and media planning, both handled by Deutsch in New York since March 2001. Media buying, handled by Zenith, is unaffected, said Stephanie Hobbs, a representative for the Dallas-based client.
"It's a far-reaching search for an agency to give us a full array of services," Hobbs said of the review, adding that she did not know if a consultant would be used or when RFPs would go out. Mary Maroun's New York consultancy, Combustion, handled the last SuperPages review.
Hobbs said the decision was made Monday and cited the $100 account for all of MCI's branded services at Deutsch as the reason. "They did great work for us," Hobbs said of Deutsch's campaign. "The work is not the issue. We just have to find ourselves a new agency." She declined further comment.
Other shops on Verizon's roster include Deutsch's sibling agencies: Lowe (communications), Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos (regional wireless), Bozell (national wireless) and Draft (direct marketing).
Executives at Deutsch and Interpublic Group, which owns the agencies on Verizon's roster, could not immediately be reached.