Late today, AT&T confirmed FCB Worldwide will participate in the review, which will center on creative development and production of brand and promotional offers for the mass market. An agency is expected to be named within about three months.
"The time is right for us to look at lots of aspects of our business," an AT&T spokesman said.
AdAge.com has learned that the review will be conducted by consultant Michael Keeshan of MagiKbox, Cos Cob, Conn., and will be limited to 10 or fewer invited agencies.
Just last month, Redmond, Wash.-based AT&T Wireless broke a new execution via True North Communication's FCB Worldwide, San Francisco, for its Customer Advantage program using the wandering shepherd first introduced last May. At the time, Phil Jacobus, vice president-national advertising for AT&T Wireless, told AdAge.com (Feb. 21) that no decisions had been made whether to continue the shepherd imagery.
However, AT&T Wireless is preparing to split off from AT&T Corp. by midyear, a move that commonly results in new brand advertising to establish the new company. AT&T Wireless is one of four AT&T Corp. business units that the telephone giant plans to spin off.
FCB Worldwide's New York office handles other portions of the AT&T account. WWP Group's Y&R Advertising, New York, handles consumer long-distance and corporate image work, an account estimated at $300 million, and on March 8 broke a corporate print branding campaign for AT&T (AdAge.com, March 8). Jordan McGrath Case & Partners, New York, a division of the Arnold Worldwide network of Havas Advertising, also handles a small portion of the AT&T account.