MVBMS Awarded Global Branding Assignment From MCI

NEW YORK Following the announcement that Worldcom is changing its name to MCI, the beleaguered telecom has awarded Euro RSCG MVBMS Partners with a new integrated corporate branding assignment, estimated at $70-80 million, sources said.

The assignment is exclusively for the MCI corporate brand. This assignment is completely distinct from The Neighborhood, which is still handled by Deutsch, an MVBMS representative said. Neither MVBMS nor MCI representatives would comment on the budget of the branding campaign. MCI has used MVBMS since 1990.

Director Peter Smillie (who shot the Network MCI campaign with a young Anna Paquin in 1993, among others) shot the launch advertising.

MCI filed a reorganization plan that envisions it emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection later this year.

Although WorldCom is still the second-largest long-distance carrier in the U.S. and once handled about half of the Internet traffic around the world, it landed in bankruptcy court last July with $41 billion in debt and an escalating accounting scandal that to date includes some $11 billion in bogus revenue and profits. It also faces litigation associated with alleged accounting irregularities.