AT&T Roster Shops Get New Boss

Lockhart Joins as Chief Marketing Officer
NEW YORK–AT&T roster shops are on the alert following the appointment last week of Eugene Lockhart as chief marketing officer, a new post. Lockhart, former president of BankAmerica Corp.’s Global Retail Bank, will oversee brand management and marketing for all AT&T units with a focus on the Consumer Services Group.
One agency executive called Lockhart an “activist” and said shops should expect him to become involved in the ad process immediately. “I’m sure we’re going to feel his impact right away,” he said.
Others said Lockhart’s involvement in two recent agency reviews is a possible warning sign for roster shops. In 1997, while at the former Bank of America, he was part of a team that selected GSD&M to handle its broadcast media buying account. In 1995, when he was chief executive of MasterCard, Lockhart was instrumental in putting media duties into review. That business also landed at GSD&M.
“I don’t intend to do any agency reviews in the near term,” said Lockhart, 49. He added that he sees “a lot of positive momentum” from AT&T’s existing agency lineup.
Those shops are Foote, Cone & Belding, New York, which handles AT&T’s consumer long-distance task; and Young & Rubicam, which has corporate brand advertising and ads for WorldNet Internet access and Lucky Dog discount long-distance service. Bronner Slosberg Humphrey in Boston is the lead U.S. direct marketing shop. Y&R’s media unit, The Media Edge, handles planning and buying.
AT&spent $475 million on ads in 1997 and almost $400 million through September 1998, per Competitive Media Reporting.