AT&T In Review After Shakeup; Only Incumbents to be Included

NEW YORK – A recent management shakeup at AT&T has caused the telecommunications giant to review its entire residential calling business both domestically and internationally.
Dick Martin, vice president/public relations and corporate advertising for the $69 billion telecommunications giant, confirmed the global agency review, saying that only the company’s current advertising agencies – Ayer, Ogilvy & Mather, McCann-Erickson, FCB/Leber Katz Partners and Young & Rubican – are included in the pitch.
‘What we’re trying to do is tap the expertise and thinking of each of our advertising agencies to develop a strategic marketing communications plan,’ said Martin. Asked if the review would result in any consolidation of agencies or reshuffling of assignments, Martin said that ‘it’s possible’ that business could shift. ‘This is not a creative shoot-out,’ he said. ‘It’s really an in-depth strategic review.’
Martin added that at a later date, AT&T may also tackle the issue of compensation.
The billings at stake for the agencies involved are enormous, according to sources, making it one of the biggest potential reviews of the year. One sources pegged the U.S. figure at around $300 million.
Sources pinned the review decision on Joseph Nacchio, who shifted from the business communications unit to president of AT&T consumer communications services unit in August as part of a widespread corporate shakeup that began in July.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)