CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER, WIRELESS,
THE NUMBERS: Verizon is the top U.S. wireless carrier, owning 32% of the market. It leads the industry with the lowest churn, or subscriber turnover rate, registering a 1% churn rate in the second quarter. Verizon is seeing some momentum on the wireline business, adding record numbers of Internet customers using its fiber-optic network in the second quarter. Measured media spending for 2008 was $2.39 billion. Spending for the first half of 2009 was down 3.8% to $1.19 billion
THE KEY LIEUTENANTS: John Harrobin, senior VP-digital media and marketing, looks after many of Verizon's content partnerships and major sponsorships. Joe Saracino, VP-marketing, Verizon Wireless, is deeply versed in the digital area, having served as VP-ecommerce.
THE CHALLENGE: Verizon Wireless has yet to offer a marquee handset with enough star power to stem the loss of customers flocking to the iPhone. It hopes to improve its lot with Droid, its first Android-powered handset, and the Blackberry Storm 2. It's unclear if its tie-up with Google to develop handsets powered by the Google-backed Android software will lead to consumers asking for these phones by name. On the wireline side, Verizon hopes to prove its $23 billion bet on the fiber-optic-service network Fios is going to pay off as it completes its initial deployment next year.
THE AGENCIES: IPG's McCann Erickson is Verizon's agency of record; Zenith Optimedia is media buyer. For its Droid handset campaign, Verizon Wireless circumvented McCann, tapping Dentsu-owned McGarry Bowen, which secured Verizon as its founding client earlier this decade.