$80 Mil. for GSD&M

SBC Communications is consolidating the $80 million Ameritech media buying account at GSD&M, the client confirmed.
The Austin, Texas, agency already handles media buying for SBC’s Southwestern Bell and
Pacific Bell units, which, with Ameritech, totals almost $300 million. It is also lead creative shop for Southwestern Bell.
The Ameritech business will move from Carat ICG, which won it in 1997, in 90 days.
GSD&M’s 36-person Chicago media office is expected to add 10 staffers but will share the business with Austin. The Chicago operation already buys for SBC’s Cellular One and for DreamWorks SKG, a $100 million media business the shop won last March.
Agency officials declined comment. An SBC representative said the move was made for efficiency.
Consolidation had been expected since SBC completed its $62 million takeover of the Midwest regional Bell in October. Ameritech’s marketing unit was subsequently moved to SBC’s Texas headquarters.
The new media buying shift may not bode well for Ameritech’s lead creative agency, Lowe Lintas & Partners in Chicago. The agency, in its former incarnation as Ammirati Puris Lintas, unsuccessfully pitched SBC’s long-distance account in September 1996. Agency president Brad Brinegar directed questions to the client.
In 1997, GSD&M was the big winner in SBC’s acquisition of Pacific Telesis. The shop at that time was awarded all SWB and PacBell media buying, then picked up buying for SBC’s SNET in Connecticut.
SBC spent $164 million on advertising in the first nine months of 1999, per Competitive Media Reporting.
–with staff report