4: Karen Jennings

Senior exec VP-human resources and communications, AT&T

Published on .

POWER PLAY: AT&T, one of the world's best-known brands, will be regrouping into one of the biggest, strongest players in the upcoming telecommunications vs. cable wars. The telecom powerhouse is parlaying its U-Verse home entertainment service and soon-to-be 100% ownership of Cingular Wireless into a powerful communications package. While it has been pouring more than $1 billion into traditional media outlets, AT&T and Karen Jennings, 55, also are establishing a beachhead with the youth market by sponsoring music events through its Blue Room website; developing seehowtheylive.com, a site showing the homes and lifestyles (with lots of product plugs) of baseball, basketball and tennis players; and rolling out the U-Verse package of digital TV, DVR, VOD and high-speed internet through innovative neighborhood consumer parties.

DOWNSIDE: A venerable brand like AT&T can face headaches when trying to reach the youth market. It could be a particular problem on the wireless side when the telecom returns to the market with the AT&T Wireless moniker. The creative on its $1.2 billion campaign introducing the merged company hasn't excited industry observers, but AT&T says it's working as the company makes the transition to a more consumer-focused marketer. Like Verizon Communications, AT&T is making a foray into the tricky home video entertainment scene via U-Verse. All that, and the new AT&T is moving from a risk-adverse environment into a new unregulated world as well.

AD BUDGET: $2.47 billion


* Omnicom's Dieste Harmel & Partners, Javelin Direct and Marketing Arm, Dallas; GSD&M, Austin, Texas; Rodgers Town-send, St. Louis

* Avenue A/ Razorfish, Chicago

* Haggin Marketing, Sausalito, Calif.

* Sanders/Wingo, El Paso, Texas
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