Ex-WSW EVP Bien joins troubled SBC

SAN FRANCISCO: Marc Bien has been hired as VP of corporate

communications for SBC Pacific Bell, a subsidiary of SBC


Bien was formerly EVP and GM for Weber Shandwick Worldwide until he was

laid off following the August merger with BSMG.

Last week, the company was fined $25.5 million by state

regulators for allegedly employing "marketing abuses." A statement by

the California Public Utilities Commission read, "The PUC found that

Pacific Bell had reverted to deceptive marketing practices by only

informing customers of the most expensive option, and failing to

disclose less expensive alternatives."

The company was also rebuked for not disclosing information about the

charges incurred by customers changing their caller ID options.

SBC comprises such brands as Nevada Bell, SNET, and Southwestern


This month, SBC also launched a program in schools to teach children

about the proper use of the 911 emergency system. Fleishman-Hillard is

SBC's PR agency of record.

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