Gte Talks With Ogilvy, Temerlin About $30 Mil. Direct Assignment

DALLAS – GTE Corp.’s Network Services division in Irving, Texas, is reviewing roster and nonroster agencies for a direct marketing contract estimated at $30 million by insiders.
Glen Gilbert, vice president of advertising and social responsibility for GTE Corp., said the company has met with its lead agency, Ogilvy & Mather, New York; Temerlin McClain, Irving, Texas; and other shops. Temerlin develops ads for GTE’s Internet service and retail stores, along with other assignments.
GTE Network Services encompasses all of the company’s wire-line telephone operations, which serve more than 21 million customers.
Gilbert would not confirm spending or additional contenders, but sources said McCann-Erickson Relationship Marketing in New York and the Irving office of Rapp Collins Worldwide were also contacted.
Executives at all four agencies either had not returned calls at press time or declined to comment.
Ogilvy has been handling direct marketing chores on a project basis since it acquired GTE’s $100 million main account in February 1997. “[That review] was for measured media advertising,” Gilbert said last week. “Ogilvy has been doing direct, but our below-the-line activities can be awarded at the discretion of our individual business units.”
Ogilvy’s Dallas office also has been been working on GTE’s direct projects, sources said.
GTE representative Sharon Cohen-Hagar said the winning agency will target residential and business prospects primarily in the company’s three largest markets: Texas, California and Florida.
A decision date has not been set, though sources said the client has already heard initial presentations.
GTE provides local and long-distance phone services in 28 and 50 states, respectively. It is relocating its corporate offices to Irving from Stamford, Conn.
The current review follows GTE’s hiring last year of Robinson & Maites in Chicago for a separate direct marketing account. That business involved targeting consumers in markets where GTE began offering local phone service after the Tele-communications Act of 1996.