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Verizon Selects Erwin-Penland

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Erwin-Penland has been awarded the Southern retail account of Verizon Wireless.

The Greenville, S.C., agency acquired the estimated $17 million business in the aftermath of a wide-ranging reorganization that reduced territories, shifted regional ac-counts and shaved a number of agencies from the Bedminster, N.J.-based client's roster.

Last October Erwin-Penland won the client's $25 million Southeast account in a review that included Verizon's national agency, Bozell in New York, and 02 Ideas of Birmingham, Ala.

"We won because of our flexibility," said E-P president Joe Erwin. "Verizon was impressed with our creative discipline—our ability to get quality, targeted retail work into the field in a matter of days, not weeks."

This latest win came after a shootout with Houston's Bates Southwest, which held Verizon's Southcentral business. That account will be combined into a new entity: Verizon South. E-P will handle retail advertising (television, radio, print and outdoor), media planning as well as conference and event management for a territory extending south from the Carolinas through Florida and west through Texas.

E-P has category experience. For a decade it handled advertising in the Carolinas for Bell Atlantic Mobile, a partner in the merger that created the Verizon brand last year.

"We're not ever going to be a national branding agency," said Erwin, "but we can turn around concepts and get them into the field at a cost lower than most national agencies can match."

E-P partner Allen Bosworth, who oversees the Verizon account, account supervisor Beth Carter, media supervisor Traci Beasley, senior art director Jack Delgado and copywriter Sean Trapani were part of the winning pitch team.

As a result of the reorganization, Verizon's California and Northwest markets, an estimated $40 million account, will be handled by Campbell Mithun of Minneapolis, which defeated GMO/Hill, Holiday in San Francisco for the business.

The 15-state Midwest territory went to incumbent O2 Ideas.

Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, New York, won an expanded Northeast account, adding $10-15 million in mid-Atlantic markets that had been with Bozell, New York.