Qwest Selects DraftFCB

BOSTON Qwest Communications today said it selected Interpublic Group’s DraftFCB in Chicago for its consumer ad efforts following a review.

“DraftFCB was selected after a review that included an outstanding group of agencies,” said Kim Whitehead, vp, marketing at the client in Denver, in a statement, though she did not identify the shops. “As a strategic partner, DraftFCB will work closely with the Qwest team to drive integrated execution across the business and position Qwest for growth.”

Qwest spent about $55 million in measured media in the first three quarters of 2007 after spending $95 million through all of last year, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

IPG’s FCB won the business in August 2002 when the incumbent was Omnicom Group’s DDB in Chicago. Following the merger last June of FCB and sibling Draft, the new agency, DraftFCB, formed a separate unit to handle Qwest so that it would not conflict with the agency’s Verizon business.

The unit, called Rivet, operates in Chicago, New York and London, and is managed separately from DraftFCB.

Sources said DraftFCB, which lost its Verizon assignments earlier this year, essentially defended the business on Rivet’s behalf. A DraftFCB representative declined comment. (Denver-based independent McClain Finlon had also worked on some aspects of the account; it will now cede those chores to DraftFCB, the client said.)

Qwest provides local and broadband service to customers in 14 Western states, and it resells wireless service through an agreement with Sprint Nextel.