Cingular Reduces Review to 4

Cingular Wireless has narrowed its review to four shops in its search for an agency to handle its estimated $20 million Hispanic advertising account.

Sources last week said Bromley Communications of San Antonio, Dieste & Partners in Dallas, The IAC Group of Miami and The Vidal Partnership in New York are the four contenders.

All four agencies confirmed their participation and referred further phone calls to the client.

Cingular, formed by the merged wireless divisions of SBC Communications in San Antonio and BellSouth in Atlanta, is based in Atlanta. IAC is the incumbent for the former BellSouth Mobility Group. It also represents BellSouth Advertising and Publishing Co.and BellSouth International.

Hispanic ads on the SBC side were previously produced by HeadQuarters Advertising. The San Francisco agency declined to participate in the current review.

The other three contenders have varying amounts of telecommunications experience. Bromley has worked with both Sprint and wireless division Sprint PCS. Vidal has worked in the past for SNET (Southern New England Telephone), an SBC global network company, and handled the launch of long-distance service for the former Nynex telephone company in Florida. Dieste lists Orlandi Valuta, the international division of Western Union, on its roster.

At least two of the agencies—Bromley and Dieste—participated in the recent review for the $17 million Hispanic advertising account of SBC Communications.

Client spokesperson Clay Owen said a decision in the Cingular Wireless review will be made in early November.

The contest is being refereed by Wanamaker in Atlanta, the same consultancy that managed Cingular’s recent $250 million review for its general market advertising account. That business was assigned to BBDO Worldwide in Atlanta and New York.

Cingular is the second-largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. It ranks behind Verizon Wireless with 19 million customers in 38 states, the District of Columbia and two U.S. territories.

Eleven brand names used by the SBC and BellSouth wireless units were consolidated under the Cingular banner with the launch of a national print campaign from GSD&M in Austin, Texas.