SBC taps Fleishman for help with post-merger rebranding as AT&T

SAN ANTONIO: SBC Communications, a longtime client of Fleishman-Hillard's, has tapped the agency to assist with communications surrounding the rebranding of the company as AT&T.

SAN ANTONIO: SBC Communications, a longtime client of Fleishman-Hillard's, has tapped the agency to assist with communications surrounding the rebranding of the company as AT&T.

SBC closed on its acquisition of AT&T on November 18 and will adopt the AT&T name as part of the deal. The company last Monday, November 21, also unveiled a new corporate logo, similar to the recognizable AT&T globe, but with lower-case lettering.

"We'll be telling the rebranding story to mainstream, business, and trade media," said Fleishman SVP Ed Presberg, a leader of Fleishman's SBC account. "We'll continue to articulate the brand attributes to employees. We'll continue to provide core messaging materials that will be utilized and tailored to various stakeholder groups, including public officials and customers."

The brand transition will be supported with a large multimedia ad and marketing campaign.

Upcoming ads in SBC's operating regions will be cobranded with the new AT&T logo in order to underscore the association between the companies.

Because SBC has strong recognition in these areas, the company plans to gradually transfer brand equity in its operating regions to the new AT&T brand.

Customer bills will include the new AT&T logo on envelopes beginning next month and on bill statements beginning in February.

Fleishman has served as SBC's AOR since 1992 and had provided PR support to SBC's predecessor, Southwestern Bell, beginning in the 1980s.

During the merger proceedings, Fleishman worked with SBC's corporate communications, advertising, and marketing departments, as well as with outside consultants, including branding firm Interbrand, which handled the redesign of AT&T's logo. Fleishman also worked with the corporate communications team at AT&T during the approval proceedings as part of a process to ensure a smooth transition on messaging once the merger closed.

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