Burrell, Arnold Nab New Assignments for Verizon

Burrell Communications will lay out the corporate-image positioning for Verizon Communications in an estimated $20-30 million fall campaign, after besting four other roster shops for the assignment last week, the company said.

Separately, roster shop Arnold Communications in Boston is expected to handle a fall product push for Verizon after a similar competition, sources said.

Verizon declined to confirm the Arnold assignment. “We’re only talking about Burrell today,” a client representative said. Arnold executives could not be reached at press time.

Chicago-based Burrell’s strategy will focus on customer commitment and the variety of products offered by New York-based Verizon, formed earlier this year through the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE Corp., said company and agency executives.

“The goal is to take something that is complicated and make it simple and understandable,” said Tom Burrell, shop chairman and CEO. A campaign is expected by November.

Verizon is expected to spend an estimated $150 million over a full year, with assignments continuing to be split up between main roster shops Burrell, Arnold and The Lord Group in New York, all of which had worked for Bell Atlantic, and former GTE roster shops Ogilvy & Mather and Temerlin McClain, both in Dallas.

The win is a significant boost to Burrell’s aspirations to be seen as more than an African Americantarget shop, a segment it continues to handle for Verizon.

Still pending: a review of a $400-500 million media account that includes Verizon Wireless, and at least three Verizon Wireless regional retail reviews. Roster shops vying for the media account are Zenith Media, MediaCom, MindShare and TN Media, sources said. Atlanta consultancy Blueprint Communications is managing the process.

The regional reviews cover the Southwest, South Central and Northeast retail assignments. The largest, the Northeast, was valued by sources at $50 million.

Verizon Wireless was formed by the combined wireless operations of Bell Atlantic, Vodafone and GTE.