MC Direct Lands $3M Account From U.S. Telephone Company

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Century Telephone Enterprises Inc., Monroe, LA, has named MC Direct, a subsidiary of Marketing Communication Group, as agency of record for its residential products and services, an account worth about $3 million in annualized billings. The agency will handle a series of direct mail and multimedia campaigns set to hit the market later this month.

MC Direct, Toronto, currently is working on four direct mail campaigns and two integrated multimedia campaigns for the cellular and local exchange telephone service company. The agency is promoting Century's full gamut of products, from network features like caller ID and call waiting to additional lines and Internet-related services. Where regulations permit, the agency will promote bundled telecom services as well. MC Direct snatched the account from an unnamed incumbent based in Atlanta.

Century's business strategy involves taking its mainstream phone services far afield geographically, selling to rural and suburban customers in pockets spread throughout the United States. The company, which raked in revenue of $1.16 billion in the first nine months of 1998, has grown recently by acquiring a series of smaller telecom concerns.

The current winter campaigns, scheduled to run through the middle of March, will target Century's newly acquired customer lists with mailings that vary from product to product. Volume, content and target lists will be different for all the campaigns.

"You approach the marketing of an additional line very differently from caller ID, and your target audience may be different," said Susan Carr, executive vice president and managing director at MC Direct.

Like the direct mail, the multimedia work will vary from product, but is set to include radio, outdoor, and newspaper elements. MC Direct's agreement with Century has no set term limit, and the agency will undertake further campaigns in the spring, summer and fall.

Besides MC Direct, Marketing Communication's other groups include MC Healthcare Group, MC Allard Pharma and MC Retail Group. Marketing Communication handles general advertising, sales promotion and public relations for clients in North America and Europe.

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