M/C/C to Help BellSouth Sell In Retail Arena

Jumping at the opportunity to work with a Baby Bell, M/C/C in Dallas is crossing into the consumer retail sector this fall in a planning, research and promotions assignment for BellSouth of Atlanta.
In addition, the agency has been hired by a prominent wireless trade association to handle sales promotions and public relations in an account estimated at $1 million-plus in annual billings.
Mike Crawford, president of the $33 million high-tech agency, revealed last week that M/C/C is partnering with BellSouth on a fourth-quarter project that aims to introduce the idea of selling telecommunications services via retail outlets–through on-site representatives or even in boxed products.
The types of BellSouth retail offerings, e.g., second lines and Internet service, are still being determined. Crawford, however, said the focus of the current work is to develop a relationship between BellSouth and retailers via strategic planning and research.
The shop was invited to pitch BellSouth earlier this summer when the nine-state Bell regional operating company wanted to explore new categories, according to Crawford.
“What their initial focus will be is . . . on the CompUSAs, the WalMarts and developing retail relationships,” said Crawford.
Billings for the BellSouth work were being determined.
Normally, M/C/C’s pitch to potential clients is that it focuses exclusively in the high-tech industry, resulting in the brunt of its work appearing in business-to-business and trade marketing assignments.
One of the those new trade clients is the Personal Communications Industry Association in Alexandria, Va. Besides sales promotion and public relations, M/C/C is handling chores for the upcoming PCIA Showcase ’97, which will gather companies involved in the cellular, PCS, paging and other wireless industries. The September trade exposition will be in Dallas.