"We added some octane with the 'mLife' campaign," Chairman-CEO John Zeglis said. The campaign achieved the objective of generating "buzz" for the company and increasing brand recognition, hits on AT&T Wireless' Web site and foot traffic in its stores, he said.
But the expense for the campaign, which kicked off during the Feb. 3 Super Bowl broadcast, was a drag on earnings, management said. The company showed a loss from operations of $16 million, which combined with accounting changes and other one-time items produced the $176 million loss.
The telecom posted
Both customer acquisition and advertising expenses will drop in the second quarter as AT&T Wireless returns to normal advertising schedule, Mr. Zeglis said.
The campaign, from WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather, New York, went on air thanks to a last-minute deal with MetLife. The insurer had sued, claiming "mLife" infringed on its campaign, tagged "Have you met life today?" MetLife withdrew petition to stop the ads while AT&T Wireless withdrew trademark applications for mLife, and both sides continue discussions.