IRVING, TX - In a move that took many telecom PR pros by surprise, Bell Atlantic and GTE announced last week that they will be scrapping their established brand names as soon as their mega-merger is formally approved.
IRVING, TX: In a move that took many telecom PR pros by surprise,
Bell Atlantic and GTE announced last week that they will be scrapping
their established brand names as soon as their mega-merger is formally
The GTE/Bell Atlantic venture, which promises to be the nation?s largest
wireless telephone company, will be known as Verizon. The two telecom
giants hired three branding firms (San Francisco?s Landor Associates and
New York?s Lippincott & Margulies and De Sola Group) and considered
about 8,500 company names before settling on the new moniker. Pronounced vurr-EYE-sun, it combines the Latin ?veritas,? or truth, with horizon, which the company believes ?signifies the possibilities ahead.?
According to GTE spokesperson Sharon Cohen-Hagar, the companies agreed to abandon their established names because both implied a more limited scope than what the new entity will embrace.
?The ?Bell? in Bell Atlantic connotes an image of voice service, and GTE
is not particularly well known outside our footprint,? she explained,
adding that a naming committee tested prospective names for
international linguistic acceptability.
However, many PR pros in the telecom sector think Bell Atlantic and GTE
are making a tragic mistake. ?It amazes me that they?d just throw away
that kind of brand equity,? said one. ?You simply can?t snap your
fingers and hope people accept it. Plus, who knows how to pronounce the
Verizon Wireless should ultimately boast more than 24 million
The companies used no outside PR firms to announce the change and will
rely heavily on advertising to build the new brand post-merger,