ATLANTA: While New York's Grey Advertising and Atlanta's 360 Thinc
jointly pitch for BellSouth's $120 million ad business, the
former is in advanced negotiations to acquire the latter.
All the agency chiefs involved refused to comment, although a
well-placed source within the Grey ranks told PRWeek, "We are having
discussions with 360, which if finalized would create a unified
advertising and PR operation here in Atlanta."
Last May, 360 - headed up by Cohn & Wolfe cofounder Bob Cohn -
successfully teamed with Porter Novelli to win the business. The win
ousted incumbent GCI Group, Grey's sister PR agency.
The loss of the business was a blow to GCI, and contributed to the
agency's 9.5% staff reduction this year. The Grey source confirmed that
the opportunity for bringing BellSouth's PR back into the family was a
consideration, but "it was not the progenitor for the discussions."
BellSouth has always kept its advertising and PR businesses
However, company spokesperson Jeff Battcher said, "We have, as part of
our cost-cutting in the past 18 months, been going to our vendors and
asking for cost breaks based on the advantage of pulling the entire
account into one house."