Semifinalists Contend for Western Wireless

SAN FRANCISCO Western Wireless, the owner of the Cellular One brand, is seeking an agency to handle its estimated $15 million creative and media account, the client confirmed.

Four agencies are in contention for the business, including Publicis Groupe’s Publicis in Mid America in Dallas, Interpublic Group shops Temerlin McClain in Irving, Texas and Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis, and independent Hoffman/Lewis in San Francisco. Periscope in Minneapolis made the list of semifinalists but pulled out because of a conflict of interest involving another client, Cox Business Services.

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 some 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.”

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 cutting the field to two finalists before selecting the winner 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.