AT&T assigns Olympics duties to Y&R, FCB

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AT&T Corp., Basking Ridge, N.J., late Aug. 22 is said to have made an internal decision as to which of its roster agencies will handle duties associated with an estimated $50 million media buy during the Sydney 2000 Oympic Games. Y&R Advertising and FCB Worldwide, both New York, will each work on the assignment, which signals the beginning of a repositioning for the troubled brand. Y&R will handle broadcast duties and FCB will oversee print, an AT&T insider said. The print and broadcast advertising will have a common theme, created by Y&R, according to executives close to the situation.

The creative effort will reposition AT&T as a provider of broadband, wireless and Internet services and as a brand on the leading edge of telecommunications.But even as the agencies rush to develop and tweak creative concepts and messaging, it's not known whether AT&T will put the resources originally committed toward the broadcast time. A company insider said that it hasn't been decided whether or not millions will be allocated to corporate brand image during the Olympics. There are three possible scenarios: AT&T may provide the money as planned; run current ad inventory, including wireless spots produced by FCB, San Francisco; or sell the time.

Y&R, FCB and AT&T executives declined to comment.

Copyright August 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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