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  1. jg70124's Avatar
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       #1  
    AT&T to Phase Out Cingular, Reclaim Wireless Brand
    By REUTERS
    Published: January 12, 2007


    NEW YORK ( Reuters) - AT&T Inc. (T.N) will begin to extinguish next week the brand of cellphone operator Cingular, built up with billions of dollars over a few years, to imprint its more-than-century-old name firmly across its services.

    AT&T, which took full control of No. 1 U.S. mobile carrier Cingular with its $86 billion purchase of BellSouth Corp. last month, will launch on Monday a campaign to mark the change.

    ``We did not enter that decision lightly,'' Wendy Clark, vice president of advertising at AT&T, said in an interview. ``We came to understand that consumer customers and business customers alike are looking for a single provider. We heard it so consistently across the marketplace.''

    In its first stage, Cingular will share its orange logo of a bouncing jack with the AT&T globe logo on everything from television ads to sales uniforms and monthly bills.

    AT&T's name and logo will eventually replace Cingular in a process expected to take several months, with the exact timing determined as more customer feedback comes in, Clark said.

    But with its long and complicated history, AT&T may face customer confusion over its name, marketing experts said. Also, Cingular built up a reputation among younger customers who may not easily associate with the AT&T brand.

    At stake are AT&T's efforts to promote its bundle of phone, Internet and video services against a growing number of rivals, including cable operators and Web providers.

    EXPENSIVE BRANDS

    One new ad will portray a familiar Cingular image -- grain harvesters mowing a field to represent ``bars'' showing maximum cellphone reception. But in a new take, the harversters will change direction and mow the AT&T globe out of the stalks.

    ``It's a tough proposition,'' said Hayes Roth, chief marketing officer at brand agency Landor Associates. ``Multiple brands within any company is expensive. Arguably they don't have much choice, they've made a stand now that they've invested back in the core brand.''

    Cingular spent nearly $1 billion on media advertising in the first nine months of 2006, up from about $920 million in the same period during 2005, according to the latest data from tracking firm TNS Media Intelligence.

    For the remainder of their businesses, AT&T spent nearly $600 million on media ads in the nine-month period, while BellSouth spent just over $100 million, TNS said.

    AT&T has said about 20 percent of operating cost savings in the BellSouth merger will come from lower advertising costs.

    The new AT&T was formed in the merger of SBC Communications and AT&T Corp. in late 2005. Adding to the mix, in late 2004 Cingular bought AT&T Wireless, eradicating that brand for its poor reputation among customers.

    ``The good news is there is a difference between AT&T and AT&T Wireless,'' Clark said. ``We have benefited significantly ... by having 12 months under our belt as the new AT&T.''

    AT&T ad agencies include Omnicom Group's (OMC.N) GSD&M and BBDO
  2. #2  
    Does this mean they're gonna go back to the old AT&T CSR's...the ones that weren't complete dickheads??
    One can only hope.
  3. #3  
    Quote Originally Posted by ChkYaHead View Post
    Does this mean they're gonna go back to the old AT&T CSR's...the ones that weren't complete dickheads??
    One can only hope.
    I agree - ATT Wireless customer service was really bad.
    iPhone 4S
    Former Treo & Storm Owner
    Cigar Lover
  4. #4  
    Maybe they will send their support to India like Sprint did.
    Treo 600 > Treo 650 > Treo 700p > Treo 700wx -> Mogul -> Touch Pro
    You may like to flash, but your phone shouldn't. LED Killer
  5. allonon's Avatar
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    #5  
    I hope they don't go back to the old "we don't provide unlock codes" mindset among things as well
  6. #6  
    No no...when it was AT&T I had EXCELLENT customer service. As soon as they bought Cingular, complete and utter $hit!

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