Lucent Spinoff Selects Mullen

Mullen management may cringe at the notion that a “comeback” is necessary, but the agency’s selection last week by a Lucent Technologies spinoff ap-pears to signal a change in momentum for the shop, which of late has seen key clients depart.

Mullen won the estimated $20-25 million global advertising assignment from Lucent’s Agere Systems. The company—whose name has its roots in the Latin verb ago, meaning “to lead, to drive, to act”—will focus on microelectronics and related products.

Mullen, Wenham, Mass., defeated Interpublic Group sister shop Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston, in the final round of a review. Pile and Co., the Boston consulting firm, oversaw the review. The Martin Agency of Richmond, Va., and DDB Worldwide, New York, had earlier been eliminated. The assignment combines creative development and media chores.

“This is a great brand with a tremendous history [as part of Lucent], and the competition that we beat was significant,” said Mullen chief creative officer Edward Boches. “This really reinforces how vibrant and strong and good the agency is.”

It was the quality of Mullen’s creative product that enabled the agency to win the account, said client official Sue Sienko. “They seemed to really define the personality of the company and how we want to move forward,” she added.

The winning agency’s mission: Craft a strong first-half 2001 brand introduction. Creative work will include print and TV efforts targeting the business community. Ads are expected to break following Agere’s IPO, now scheduled to be completed next spring.

The win comes on the heels of Mullen adding LavaStorm to its roster [Adweek, Nov. 13] and marks an uptick of fortune for the shop, which this year has parted with several accounts., L.L. Bean and Swiss Army Brands, with combined budgets approaching the nine-figure range, all bid adieu. The agency is currently one of three finalists in a review for the creative portion of Rational Software’s $15-20 million business.

Agere will focus on microelectronics and communications technologies, marketing integrated circuits to firms that manufacture cellular phones and other wireless communications devices. The Allentown, Pa., company will also provide various technology used in data networks worldwide. Revenue for those segments at Lucent was about $4 billion in the past year. John Coletti