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In his 15-year career at AT&T Corp., Stephen Block has handled much of the most significant advertising to come out of Ma Bell -- from "Reach out and touch someone" to the "True" campaign.

Through it all, he's had new-media responsibilities that have grown along with the company. In the mid '80s, AT&T experimented with Knight-Ridder newspapers in trying to deliver videotext news and information via cable lines. It also was one of the first advertisers on the Prodigy service and experimented with interactive TV in the early '90s.

Then in 1995, Mr. Block oversaw the relaunching of AT&T's corporate Web site. His job was to extend the brand through the site, along with advertising and sales, as well as develop customer care applications specifically designed for the Web.

He's also been able to help reorganize within the company structure to create a unit called the AT&T Interactive Group, which cuts across all departments to form the basis for all new media work.

"AT&T is only going to be a bigger player and a more aggressive player on the Web," Mr. Block said. "I think we're only beginning to see that the community potential of the Web has begun to absolutely catch hold of American business."

And while he said the "revenue hasn't yet proven the Internet beyond its existing value as a distribution channel and customer care applications," AT&T is preparing to push past that with several Internet initiatives.

"I expect by the end of 1998, you'll know more about what AT&T does on the Internet," he said. "We will have attempted a pretty large scale effort to market on the Web this year."

Betcha didn't know: Mr. Block, who often serves as a judge for advertising competitions, is himself quite an accomplished amateur photographer. But his free time is spent more often in pursuit of his three children -- including two teen-age daughters and a lot of trips to the shopping mall.

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