AT&T awards massive ad account to Omnicom

AT&T has tapped Omnicom Group to handle nearly all its ad, media and analytics duties.

The nation’s second-largest carrier said in June it was holding a “massive review” of its U.S. creative and media accounts in the hopes of seeking one holding company solution for the bulk of its activities. Omnicom and WPP were the only companies invited to the review, and Friday morning it named Omnicom to handle most of the duties on its $3 billion ad account.

"We have selected Omnicom via its BBDO and Hearts & Science units to be AT&T's integrated creative and media agency," Lori Lee, senior executive vice president and global marketing officer at AT&T, said in a prepared statement. "Omnicom has brought together one dedicated team representing the best talent across Omnicom to work seamlessly with us to position AT&T as the world's premier integrated communications company. A single integrated team allows us to move quickly, innovate at scale and take a data-driven, holistic approach to reaching consumers and businesses. These capabilities are important as we get ready to launch new streaming video entertainment choices that are built for mobile."

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Indeed, the news marks a huge win for Omnicom during a particularly transitional period for AT&T. AT&T is regularly the biggest-spending advertiser among U.S. wireless carriers, although in July it accounted for only 17 percent of the industry’s digital advertising spend, according to iSpot.tv.

AT&T’s advertising investments are sure to ramp up in the coming months as it prepares to launch three DirecTV-branded streaming video services later this year: DirecTV Now, an app focused on content from AT&T's satellite TV business; DirecTV Mobile; an app designed for smartphone viewing and featuring premium video and made-for-digital content; and DirecTV Preview, an ad-supported service leveraging video from a variety of sources.

It’s no surprise, then, that AT&T will move quickly as it consolidates its advertising activities with Omnicom.

“We expect a smooth transition of the work to Omnicom will happen over the coming weeks,” Lee said. “Like Omnicom, WPP is a world-class group and we appreciate their hard work and 9-year partnership.”

For more:
- see this AdAge report

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