FCB RESIGNS AT&T BUSINESS ACCOUNT

Agency Looking to Pursue Other Telecom Work

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Interpublic Group of Cos.' Foote, Cone & Belding, New York, has resigned AT&T Corp.'s AT&T Business account, FCB New York CEO Jeff Tarakajian confirmed.

The $40 million to $50 million account -- which Mr. Tarakajian said would have been "well under $20 million in billings next year" and prohibited the agency from pursuing other work in the telecommunications field -- was FCB's last piece of AT&T business.

The agency lost

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the $400 millon AT&T Wireless account to WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide earlier this year. FCB also no longer handles portions of the AT&T Consumer ad account, which was recently consolidated by WPP's Y&R Advertising, New York.

AT&T Corp. did not immediately return a phone call.

There was no word on whether a review will be called, but independent shop Schifino/Lee Advertising, Tampa, Fla., which has been doing project work for AT&T Business for the past couple of years, is poised to win the account without a review, according to people familiar with the matter.

In an internal memo to staff obtained by AdAge.com, Mr. Tarakajian said the agency is "well on our way to forging new partnerships with telecommunications companies. It's time now to stop looking back and focus on the future instead."