A BroadRiver Now Runs Through Grey Worldwide

Grey Worldwide will handle the launch of telecom startup BroadRiver Communications Corp. The inaugural advertising campaign is estimated at $5-10 million.

The Fort Worth, Texas-based shop, previously known as Regian & Wilson/Grey, last week formally changed its name to Grey Worldwide: Dallas/Fort Worth, two years after becoming part of Grey’s agency network.

Its latest client, now one of the agency’s largest accounts, also underwent a name change recently, from PurePacket Communications to BroadRiver. The Alpharetta, Ga.-based company will use $44 million in venture capital funding to jump into the crowded field of bundled telecom service providers. BroadRiver plans to offer everything from long-distance and cellular phone service to Internet access at a discount to the small and medium-size business markets.

BroadRiver will begin testing its services this month in Atlanta; Orlando, Fla.; and Nashville, Tenn. A multimedia rollout involving print, broadcast and interactive in 18 markets will begin in January.

The selection of Grey for both creative and media duties followed an informal review of shops in the South, said Julie Wilson, agency president and chief executive officer.

“We used FlashNet as a case history of how to launch a startup market by market,” Wilson said. “We have also worked in the information communications business and have worked with cable companies—such as Heartland Cable Television— which became communications providers. So I think our experience with some of those companies was helpful.”

Said Ron Johnson, BroadRiver’s vice president of sales, in a statement: “As we target … businesses in key startup markets, Grey’s business-to-business background, experience with competitive local exchange carriers and success in launching other technology companies were very attractive to us.”

Wilson indicated the new account win, along with the name change, heralds a more ambitious direction for the agency.

“Our focus is going to be more on clients like BroadRiver … national clients that aren’t necessarily headquartered here in the metroplex,” she said.