Verizon consolidates wireless/wireline advertising

As AT&T finally swallows the Cingular brand into its own moniker, Verizon Wireless announced plans to merge its wireless advertising operations with wireline advertising operations for a $1.9 billion combined budget. The merged unit will slim the 20 creative and media-buying agencies to 10, and will be headed by the Interpublic Group of companies McCann WorldGroup.

"The Verizon brand resonates with customers as one strong tradition in providing quality communications products and services," said Verizon CMO John Stratton. "Fewer agencies will allow us to leverage key creative teams and develop one immediately identifiable Verizon brand."

For more on Verizon's consolidation plans:
- see this press release