OMNISKY, FALLON PART WAYS

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March 8, 2001

By Kate MacArthur

OmniSky will take its marketing in-house after parting ways with Fallon, Minneapolis, after two months, the companies confirmed.

"We realized OmniSky's needs changed significantly from when we won the business two months ago," said Beth Perro-Jarvis, group director at Fallon, Minneapolis. "We came to the realization that their needs were not syncing up to our abilities." Fallon, a unit of Publicis Groupe, had won the estimated $50 million account in January after a review. The shop pulled out on Friday in what it called an amicable departure.

"We're looking at further focusing and targeting our marketing," said Amanda Higgins, an OmniSky spokeswoman. "Our need for outside counsel has diminished, so we will work in-house."

Not cutting budget
OmniSky confirmed that the split was initiated by Fallon, but asserted that the decision was not due to budget cuts. "This is not just a reflection of our budget," Ms. Higgins said, declining to confirm the company's marketing spending plans. "We're not backing down on marketing efforts in any way."

She also dismissed rumors that the company was in acquisition talks with a major telecom company.

While she wouldn't disclose the company's plans, Ms. Higgins said OmniSky will work with Exile on Seventh, San Francisco, for direct marketing, which may take a larger role going forward as the company targets "mobile professionals." Fallon doesn't have a direct marketing capability and didn't pursue assistance from its sister agencies, said a spokeswoman.

Fallon last month backed out of a review for Gateway computers, which also took its marketing in-house.

Copyright March 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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