Wickersham Hunt Schwantner last week emerged from the shadow of parent Arnold Communications, defeating several undisclosed contenders to pick up direct marketing duties from MediaOne in Englewood, Colo.
The review was undertaken to unify the cable TV and telecommunications company's regional direct marketing efforts, formerly handled by various shops around the country.
Neither the client nor the agency would discuss budget levels. Sources said the assignment could be worth as much as $20 million annually to the Boston shop.
Wickersham creative director Amy Hunt said the MediaOne account is one of the agency's largest, along with Bose Corp. "It's a cornerstone account," she said. As such, it will require hiring at the 85-person shop, which claims more than $120 million in overall billings. Creative and account service staffers are being sought, Hunt said. Sources said between 10 and 20 new positions need to be filled.
Wickersham is charged with creating direct mail, TV, radio and print campaigns using MediaOne's existing tagline, "This is broadband. This is the way," developed by the client's lead agency, Margeotes/Fertitta + Partners, New York. Western International Media, New York, will handle media placement for Wickersham's first campaign for MediaOne, set to break in September.
Regarding Arnold's ongoing relationship with Bell Atlantic, MediaOne representative Tracy Hollingsworth said, "We didn't see a conflict." Though it recently lost some Bell Atlantic media duties to Zenith Media and Media Direct Partners, both New York, following a review to consolidate, Arnold retains some creative chores.
--with Angela Dawso