New Satellite Telecom venture appoints JWT to global account

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PARIS -- SkyBridge, the satellite telecom system slated to launch 2001, has assigned J. Walter Thompson to its first advertising account.

JWT's New York business-to-business unit, Brouillard Communications, and JWT Paris led the pitch against Saatchi & Saatchi and Havas Advertising. No budget details are available, but investment in the SKyBridge project - run by a consortium led by French telecom giant Alcatel - is more than $4 billion, according to JWT.

SkyBridge aims to provide global broadband capacity to telecom operators who will then be able to offer interactive multimedia services, including Internet access and highspeed data communications, to more than 20 million users around the world.

Nicolas Brun, VP-communications at SkyBridge, says JWT was chosen on its understanding of SkyBridge's business challenges and "the demonstration of their commitment in a very short period of time."

Alcatel, Aerospatiale, Thomson-CSF and Cegelec announced July 1 that their satellite activities would be regrouped into a single division, in which Alcatel holds 51% and Thomson-CSF 49%. The restructuring follows the privatization of ThomsonCSF, in which Alcatel, Aerospatiale and Dassault Industries have taken a majority stake and the state has retained 42.9%.

Copyright July 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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