Cingular Narrows Interactive Competition

ATLANTA—Cingular Wireless has narrowed the field competing for its interactive marketing business to the incumbent, BBDO’s Atmosphere, and four undisclosed finalists. The Atlanta-based client is expected to reach a decision later this month. Wanamaker, the Atlanta consultancy conducting the review, declined comment.

Voltage Factory Nears Brownout Status

ATLANTA—Reports were circulating last week that The Voltage Factory was about to lose its last remaining client, In January 2000, database marketing specialists Gerry Brewer and Laura Davis abandoned WestWayne here and, using financing president David Hosakawa, co-founded the interactive shop in Atlanta.

DWP/Bates Opens West Coast Facility

LOS ANGELES—DWP/Bates Technology has established an office in Irvine, Calif. Cita Walsh-Vincent, former vice president of creative and client services at iXL in San Diego, will serve as managing director. Also on board are strategic planner Mark Weinfeld, formerly of Bates USA West; vice president of business development Ben Chung, previously a strategic planner at Doner; and a senior account manager from DWP/Bates’ Atlanta headquarters. The shop will look to build creative and account teams, Walsh-Vincent said, and draw on the resources of Bates in Irvine and DWP/Bates in Atlanta.

Charter Communications Begins Review

ATLANTA—Charter Communications’ marketing account is in play. Last month, Atlanta search consultancy The Bedford Group/Red Dragon began soliciting creative from agencies at the request of an unnamed client. Consultant Jane Bedford declined to identify the client, but a spokesman for Charter in St. Louis confirmed last week that the cable company is in review. “We are in the early stages of the process,” he said. Earlier this year, Bedford guided Atlanta’s Cox Communications, a partner in a joint venture with Charter, in a review eventually won by Doner in Southfield, Mich. At that time, contenders were advised by Bedford “that there would be something coming up in a similar category. According to Competitive Media Reporting, Charter’s 2000 billings were $3.7 million, a figure that does not include advertising run through Charter media outlets. Simmons Durham in St. Louis is the incumbent.

TB&C Handles PR for Zing321 Launch

ATLANTA—Zing Interactive Media and its radio partner, Clear Channel Communications, will introduce Zing321. The service allows cell phone users to order products or access information from the radio. Zing321 starts May 9 in Philadelphia on two FM stations. Trahan Burden & Charles in Baltimore will offer public relations support.

Eason Joins Boston Marketing Agency

BOSTON—Irma S. Mann, Strategic Marketing has named Janet Eason senior vice president and director of account planning and media services. She had been director of media and marketing services for Arnold’s agency operations in Virginia.