Verizon Turns Yellow

Verizon Information Services is seeking the first ad agency to handle its estimated $30-50 million Yellow Pages business, including its electronic phone and retail directory,

Requests for proposals were issued last week to 15 shops across the U.S., including Verizon roster and non-roster shops, said Stephanie Hobbs, a representative for the Dallas company.

“We’re looking for someone who can take the brand to the next level,” said Marilyn Burrows, executive director of marketing for Verizon, which was formed in July by the merger of GTE and Bell Atlantic. “Someone who will be a strategic and integrated partner and has a broad-brush branding approach.”

The review is being handled by Mary Maroun of Combustion, a New York consulting firm. Maroun was president of TBWA\Chiat\Day in New York from 1996-99.

The winning shop’s new campaign, to launch next year, will use TV, radio, print, direct marketing, outdoor, interactive and ethnic marketing, Hobbs said. “We have ethnic directories and are looking for a fully integrated agency that has reach into ethnic regions,” she said.

Roster shops on Verizon’s corporate-image account include Burrell Communications in Chicago, Arnold Worldwide in Boston, The Lord Group in New York, Temerlin McClain in Irving, Texas, and La Agencia de Orci in Los Angeles.

Since the company became Verizon, it has conducting a series of agency reviews. Last month, Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, New York, won Verizon Wireless’s $50 million Northeast retail account, and Bates Southwest in Dallas won the client’s South Central retail account.