Verio Hears from 7 Shops for National Splash

Internet services company Verio began hearing pitches from seven shops last week as it searches for a strategy to make it a nationally recognized brand among wired businesses.
With a pending acquisition by NTT Communications Corp., a subsidiary of Japan’s Nippon Telegraph and Telephone, the company wants to make a mark on a national level, said company representative Kathy Amro. The budget is $15-20 million.
“We’ve got a lot of room to grow in terms of brand awareness,” she said. “We’re taking a look at what’s out there to see if we can find a better fit.”
The Englewood, Colo., company provides Internet and e-commerce planning and Web-hosting services for businesses. The company was formed through acquisitions of several regional Internet service providers and is looking to create a unified brand identity.
The company’s previous agency, Ryan Drossman/Marc USA in New York, created a campaign last year that used historical and modern footage to position the company as “Internet pioneers” The campaign was tagged, “The new world of business.”
Officials with Marc USA, Pittsburgh, the parent of Ryan Drossman, said the search for a new agency was spurred by management changes at the company. Among those changes was the arrival in October of director of marketing Barbara Goworowski, who joined the company from Ameritech. Ryan Drossman was invited to pitch the business, but declined, a Marc representative said.
Agencies pitching the business in sessions that will continue this week are Campbell Mithun Esty and Martin/Williams, both Minneapolis; Cramer-Krasselt, Chicago; Valentine-Radford in Kansas City, Mo.; The Sawtooth Group, Woodbridge, N.J.; The Richards Group in Dallas; and Citron Haligman Bedecarre in San Francisco.
The agencies are pitching at Verio’s Chicago offices. A decision is expected in mid-June.
The push for national recognition involves spending increases for the company. Verio spent $6 million on advertising last year, according to Competitive Media Reporting. K