SBC May Group Pac Bell Tasks

By Trevor Jensen and Joan Voight

CHICAGO–Parent company SBC Communications is expected to further consolidate agency assignments for Pacific Bell business in coming weeks, with D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles in St. Louis likely to be a major beneficiary, sources said.

DMB&B is in line for additional assignments, possibly the products and services business of Pacific Bell currently being handled by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco, sources said.

Currently, DMB&B handles corporate advertising and media buying for San Antonio, Texas-based SBC, and advertising for Southwestern Bell residential service and other products and offerings such as call waiting and voice mail. The agency’s total SBC business is estimated by sources at $90 million.

Goodby last week was awarded Pac Bell’s long-distance account, with potential billings of about $40 million. Ketchum Advertising in San Francisco was the incumbent. Goodby won SBC’s long-distance account earlier this year after a review that included DMB&B.

An SBC representative declined to comment on agency changes. DMB&B executives also declined comment on specific changes to their SBC business.

Ric Anello, senior vice president and group creative director, said, however, the agency is ‘delighted to continue to stay focused on consumer products and services.’

‘While I will not speculate on future changes in agency assignments, I think it’s realistic to assume that as SBC continues to increase and expand its presence in all aspects of the telecommunications industry, the roster agency’s roles will continue to evolve accordingly,’ Anello said.

SBC announced its merger with Pacific Telesis on April 1. Southwestern Bell is the regional phone company for Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas.–with Steve Krajewski

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