VeriSign looks at seven agencies as part of first review in four years

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA: VeriSign is set to launch its first agency review in four years, a reflection of the company's recent growth.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA: VeriSign is set to launch its first agency review in four years, a reflection of the company's recent growth.

The search has been limited to just seven agencies, which have already been selected, said Brian O'Shaughnessy, director of corporate communications.

While O'Shaughnessy declined to disclose the size of the account, or which agencies are participating, he said they range in size from boutiques to global firms. He also said that incumbent Bite Communications is among the seven firms.

VeriSign selected Applied Communications four years ago. Bite acquired Applied in 2003.

"In the process of our growth, we've been evaluating different relationships, and that cuts across the entire company," said O'Shaughnessy. "We have a very complex story to tell, and it's a difficult story to get the public to understand. But Bite has done a good job so far."

VeriSign, a $1.1 billion company, is best known for its security technology, used in electronic commerce. But the company is also a major player in telecommunications, which generates 50% of the company's revenue.

VeriSign handles about half the country's mobile roaming traffic. So, for example, if a customer of Verizon Wireless calls a Cingular Wireless customer, that person is probably using a VeriSign network, explained O'Shaughnessy.

"We are a company that considers itself [to be] the ultimate third party," he explained. "We don't have a single pure-play competitor. There isn't another company that does everything that we do."

VeriSign will select the winning agency by August 1.

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