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(Aug. 8, 2001) -- AT&T Broadband tapped Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, New York, to evaluate the positioning and marketing strategies of the Denver-based unit of AT&T Corp.

AT&T Broadband has set aside as much as $20 million to cover costs generated by Kirshenbaum, according to people familiar with the matter. The project may include research, testing creative concept and developing brand identity. Kirshenbaum declined to comment.

Kirshenbaum, Havas Advertising's Arnold Worldwide, Boston, and 1919, a New York-based brand identity boutique, were among the agencies that participated in the review, an AT&T Broadband employee had told Advertising Age.

The review was thought to have been postponed as speculation increased over Comcast Cable Corp.'s $58 billion bid for AT&T Broadband. AT&T recently declined Comcast's offer, but other possible suitors, including AOL Time Warner, are interested in the unit. A possible merger or acquisition makes the brand identity and positioning work Kirshenbaum will handle all the more significant as AT&T Broadband sorts out its future.

AT&T Broadband is a cable TV and broadband provider of high-speed data, phone and video services to consumers and business. The company's acting senior vice president of marketing, Nancy McGee, is leading the Kirshenbaum project. Former Burger King marketing executive Gary Langstaff, who is also a principal in 1919, is a consultant to AT&T Broadband.

Havas' Jordan McGrath Case & Partners, New York, continues to handle AT&T Broadband's brand work, and Y&R's Wunderman Cato Johnson, New York, handles its direct response and promotion assignments. The two agencies of record will not be affected by the Kirshenbaum project. -- Tobi Elkin and Lisa Sanders

Copyright August 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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