AT&T plans to turn its decentralized media buying and planning over to one advertising agency, and the five incumbents are in the running for the business, which Advertising Age values at $3.345 billion for 2006. The telecom giant, the second-largest advertiser in the nation, says it is “pleased with the work” of all its agencies but it must “maximize efficiencies.”
A decision is expected by the end of the year. GSD&M, Mediaedge:cia, OMD, Initiative, Digitas, and lead agency BBDO make up the patchwork quilt created by AT&T's acquisition of BellSouth and conversion of Cingular to AT&T wireless. The company has projected a 20% saving on advertising and marketing as a result of the consolidation.