SBC Calls Review to Consolidate $17 Mil. Hispanic Account

Includes Latino Business of Ameritech
DALLAS–SBC Communications is undertaking a review of its Hispanic advertising in a move that will consolidate its account with that of Ameritech. SBC acquired Ameri-tech in a $62 billion deal last year.
“We are undertaking a review to consolidate into one agency, and I expect a decision by September,” said SBC representative Larry Solomon.
The combined account is estimated at $17 million, and the review is being conducted in-house by the San Antonio-based telecom giant, according to industry sources.
Hernandez & Garcia, which held Ameritech’s Hispanic account, will not be pitching the consolidated business. The agency’s involvement with the company virtually ended with the SBC takeover, although the Lincolnwood, Ill.-based shop did handle some project work after the merger, according to president Margarita Garcia.
“We were prepared for it and it makes sense that [SBC] wants a national agency,” said Garcia.
San Francisco-based HeadQuarters Advertising, the incumbent ad-vertising agency for SBC Communications, will defend the account.
“We are an agency that has specialized in telecoms since our inception in 1987,” said HeadQuarters president Horacio Gomes.
Gomes said SBC has extended its request for proposals to a wide range of Hispanic agencies.
At press time last week, confirmed participants included Ornelas & Associates of Dallas and Creative Civilization–An Aguilar Agency and Inventiva, both in San Antonio.
Agencies are remaining tight-lipped about their involvement in the review because of the confidentiality agreements they have signed with SBC.
SBC now ranks as the No. 2 local phone service provider in the U.S. following its merger with Ameritech. The leader in the category is Verizon, the company formed by the merger of GTE and Bell Atlantic.
SBC operates 61 million network access lines in 13 states. Its largest markets are Texas, California and Illinois. The company recently began offering long-distance service in Connecticut and Texas.
The firm, which has 12.2 million mobile phone subscribers in 24 states, is combining its wireless operations with those of Atlanta-based BellSouth. SBC also has stakes in telecom operations in 22 countries outside the U.S. K