VTEL to Confer With 12 Agencies

A dozen shops from across the country are being considered by VTEL for the videoconferencing company’s first global branding campaign.
The agencies are: Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos and Holland Mark Martin Edmund, both in Boston; Mullen in Wenham, Mass.; Rubin Postaer and Associates in Santa Monica, Calif.; Goldberg Moser O’Neill in San Francisco; Hampel/Stefanides, Fallon McElligott Berlin, Hanft Byrne Raboy Abrams & Partners, DDB Needham and Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, all in New York; Arian, Lowe & Travis Advertising in Chicago; and GSD&M in Austin, Texas.
Client executives expect to meet with most of the agencies over the next two weeks and cut the field to three or four finalists, according to Grant Schneider, a Boston-based marketing consultant spearheading the review.
Billings are estimated between $5-8 million but could grow as the market for videoconferencing systems takes off, Schneider said.
Some VTEL executives have previously worked with at least four of the agencies in contention. Chief operating officer Gerry Benson has a history with Hampel/Stefanides, DDB and Hanft Byrne Raboy when he was president of NEC Technologies. Goldberg Moser worked with marketing director Barry Rumac in his previous job at Dell Computer.
VTEL shareholders this spring approved a merger with another videoconferencing company, Compression Labs. That union boosted VTEL into the No. 2 position in its category behind Waltham, Mass.-based PictureTel. VTEL expects annual revenues of $200 million, according to a company news release. PictureTel reported revenues of $482 million in 1996.
SicolaMartin in Austin, Texas, which had handled VTEL’s general marketing, interactive and collateral assignments, resigned the account in August citing a conflict.
–with staff reports