Family Ties Lead To Lowe Lintas’ Verizon Win

Verizon Communications’ consolidation of its $300-400 million creative account at Lowe Lintas & Partners began late last year when Lowe Lintas got a tip from sister shop Draft, sources said.

That shop, whose New York office had worked for the telco since 1995, knew Verizon, which already was consolidating its media bus iness at Zenith Media and Draft, was mulling a similar move on the creative side, said sources.

For years, Verizon had used several general-market shops—most recently Arnold, The Lord Group and Temerlin McClain. But since Bell Atlantic had merged with GTE, the company felt a single resource would be more practical and easier to manage, said Jan Keeler, Verizon svp, brand management and marketing services. “This has nothing to do with any individual agency,” she said, referring to the prior shops. “We had to look at our business and say, ‘Who could do it all?’ “

The decision to consolidate at Lowe Lintas and Draft came after a half-dozen meetings with Verizon executives in the past four months. Lowe Lintas presented case histories (Heineken, GMC) and discussed strategy, according to sources.

The shop also offered the services of global deputy chairman Michael Sennott, who will help coordinate the efforts of the two Interpublic Group of Cos. shops. (Sennott and Keeler have crossed paths before, when they held account posts at rival shops—McCann-Erickson and N.W. Ayer & Partners, respectively—that both worked for AT&T.)

Lowe Lintas, which will handle corporate-image, consumer, broadband, B2B and long-distance duties, embraced the mammoth task before it. “Because of the sheer size and scope of the assignment, the work is going to be very visible,” said Gary Goldsmith, chairman and chief creative officer. “It’s up to us to make it great.”