Minneapolis Shop Pitches Western Wireless

LOS ANGELES Carmichael Lynch is vying for the estimated $15 million creative and media account of Western Wireless, the owner of the Cellular One brand, the client confirmed.

In addition to the Interpublic Group shop in Minneapolis, three agencies are in contention for the business: Publicis Groupe’s Publicis in Mid America in Dallas, IPG’s Temerlin McClain in Irving, Texas, and independent Hoffman/Lewis in San Francisco, the client said. Periscope in Minneapolis made the list of semifinalists but pulled out because of a conflict of interest involving another client, Cox Business Services, sources said.

The winning agency will work on the Cellular One brand for Western Wireless markets and for licensees.

The effort will include a national branding campaign aimed at bringing consistency and strong brand positioning to the Cellular One name, said Jerry Gallegos, vice president of marketing for Western Wireless in Bellevue, Wash. “Because we licensed the Cellular One name out, there has been some inconsistencies for the brand position in the market,” Gallegos said.

Consultant Nancy Brumfield, a principal at The Marketing Group in Seattle, is conducting the review.

The semifinalists are expected to present creative in the next two weeks. Plans call for the field to be cut to two finalists before the winner is selected in early April.

Western Wireless previously worked with smaller media planning and advertising agencies in the Pacific Northwest. It would not disclose the names of its former shops.

The client serves more than 1 million subscribers in 19 Western states under the Cellular One and Western Wireless brand names.