AT&T names McCann to tech unit business

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Agency nails $70M account

AT&T, moving a step closer to a three-way corporate split, last week named McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York, agency for the estimated $70 million account of the new systems and technologies unit.

AT&T's core agencies--McCann, FCB/Leber Katz Partners, Young & Rubicam and N.W. Ayer & Partners, all New York--had been invited to pitch the account. Ayer didn't make it to the second round and, in the final review, neither Y&R nor FCB had ``the creative breakthrough that we needed to launch a new company,'' said Dave Shaver, VP-advertising and marketing communications of the yet-to-be-named company.

``McCann nailed down an image, a unique personality and tone of voice, which we feel we can own as a company,'' he said.

FCB/Leber Katz will continue to handle advertising for a couple of divisions within the new company, including network systems and microelectronics.

AT&T had revenues of $20 billion in 1994 from manufacturing and selling telephones, switching equipment, microelectronics and network systems.

Although AT&T has yet to reveal the unit's name, industry analysts predict Bell will be incorporated into that identity. Landor & Associates, a sister company of Y&R, has been developing a name for the spinoff for the past four months.

``Once AT&T is legally able to talk about the new company, we'll be ready with our launch,'' said Jim Heekin, president of McCann-North America. ``Not often does a brand new company come around, so we've dedicated heavy creative talent and are putting together a diversified media plan to reach the broad audience needed for such an introduction.''

Copyright January 1996 Crain Communications Inc.

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