CHICAGO-Ameritech’s $100 million media buying account was put into play Friday when Leo Burnett here abruptly resigned its agency of record role.
Linda Wolf, Burnett group president for North America, said in a statement that the decision “frees us to put our telecommunications experience to work more broadly for another company whose business philosophies are more compatible with our own at some point in the future.”
An Ameritech representative said the company is “evaluating our options for a partner” to handle the buying assignment and would “seek an agency with which to form a long-term partnership.”
The telecommunications company formed a partnership in July with Ammirati Puris Lintas, New York, to which it awarded creative responsibilities on the consolidated consumer, business and branding accounts. Creative responsibilities had been split among Burnett (consumer), DDB Needham Chicago (business) and Fallon McElligott, Minneapolis (corporate branding). Cliff Freeman and Partners, New York, continues to handle creative for Ameritech’s cellular services.
Ammirati pledged to open a full-service office in Chicago after winning the creative account. If it were to add $100 million in media chores for the business as well, that could change the scope of the operation it is seeking to put in place. Officials at Ammirati could not be reached for comment.
Burnett had been Ameritech’s media agency of record since May 1994. Wolf said in her statement that “it’s important that we work with advertisers who offer significant long-term growth potential for the agency.”