Stephenz Wins Telecom Account

Veteran tech agency The Stephenz Group landed the $4-5 million international ad and marketing account of Pacific Broadband Communications. The San Jose, Calif.-based telecommunications firm selected the crosstown agency for the business-to-business account after a national search.

Contenders included large and midsized shops in New York and Atlanta, said company officials. “We thought at first that we needed a large agency with cable TV experience,” said Paul Falworth, senior marketing director. “Then we concluded that we really needed originality and decisive thinking from a shop that cut its teeth on technology.”

Falworth was introduced to Stephenz executives two years ago during a stint at another telecom firm. The first ads, due to appear in cable trade titles, will run in November, said agency officials. The work will carry the tagline “Leaders of the last mile,” referring to cable equipment used in the neighborhoods and homes of subscribers. The tag was developed in-house prior to the agency search.

Stephenz will handle a range of marketing duties, including brand positioning, event marketing, direct response and online initiatives. Eventually it will work with agencies in Asia, Europe and Australia, said Falworth.

Pacific Broadband sells equipment and services to cable giants such as AT&T Broadband, AOL Time Warner and Cox Communications. “Cable is a clubby industry and requires a lot of relationship building,” said Barbara Zenz, president of the 20-year-old shop. “In the current economic climate, tech clients often hire agencies for projects and short-term assignments. But this client is taking a comprehensive approach. Our job is to help them build a position in the marketplace.”

Stephenz is the first agency for the 2-year-old client. The company’s services and co-branded products are designed to help cable operators deliver Internet access to homes.

Its most recent round of financing came in April when a group of broadband and financial companies including Cox invested $50 million.