France Telecom calls up Grey for Yellow Pages

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PARIS -- France Telecom has tapped Callegari Berville Grey, Paris, to handle advertising for its market-leading Yellow Pages telephone directories. Callegari Berville Grey, a division of Grey Worldwide, won the account after a hotly-contested final pitch against Havas Advertising-owned Devarrieuxvillaret. Incumbent agency Lowe Lintas & Partners Worldwide, Paris, a unit of Interpublic Group of Cos., did not participate in the review, which also included Omnicom Group's CLM/ BBDO, Paris, and another Omnicom shop, DDB Worldwide-owned Louis XIV, Paris. The estimated $14 million to $20 million Yellow Pages budget concerns both the voluminous paper directories published annually by France Telecom nationwide, as well as the company's leading Internet directory (, which had attracted 135,000 advertisers by year-end 2000.

The Yellow Pages is a prime earner for France Telecom, bringing in revenues topping $680 million in 2000 from the paper and Internet versions, reflecting growth of more than 7%. The brief facing Callegari Berville Grey is two-fold: first, to draw greater numbers of businesses to the paper and Internet Yellow Pages, and second, to firm up notoriety of France Telecom's branded directories versus online and off-line rivals. A new tagline will be launched when the first campaigns break in Spring 2001, the agency says. France Telecom was the country's leading advertiser in 2000, with gross media investments topping $225 million, reflecting more than 25% growth over 1999, according to figures published by media monitor TNS Secodip.

Copyright February 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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