Small Businesses Vote Verizon Top Brand Among Telecom Services in City Business Journals' Poll

NEW YORK - Verizon moved up a notch to "top brand" in its category in the 2006 American Brand Excellence Awards survey conducted by the City Business Journals Network among 1,000 small- and medium-sized business owners and managers.

Phone and online surveys were conducted among businesses chosen from the Dunn and Bradstreet database. The study, executed by Russell Marketing Research, ranked Verizon No. 1 in its telecommunications peer group, outdistancing national competitor AT&T, which came in 5th, and Comcast, which came in 6th.

"This rating, coming directly from the small- and medium-business community, is gratifying because we have been working very hard over the past several years to creatively and attentively meet the special needs of these customers," said Monte Beck, vice president of business marketing for Verizon.

Small- and medium-business customers have affirmed the positive impact of Verizon's focus, rating Verizon tops as an industry leader across the following attributes: offering good value; being an increasingly popular choice; benefiting growing companies; forward-looking; and behaving ethically.

In analyzing the research, Dr. Godfrey Phillips, vice president of marketing for City Business Journals Network, said the results showed Verizon clearly leads its industry group and has successfully built and supported its brand strength across all measured attributes. Moreover, along with its sister company Verizon Wireless, Verizon moved positively in the performance ratings overall among all peer companies, many of which showed year-over-year declines in brand esteem.

Among the 235 brands measured across all industries in the survey, Verizon ranked 32nd as a favored brand, up from 48th last year and 53rd in 2004.

"What makes the American Brand Excellence Awards unique is that business owners and managers are the ones telling us what they feel about the companies that support their businesses and help them grow," said CBJN president George M. Conley. "This year's winners are true leaders in their fields, and CBJN is proud to acknowledge them and celebrate their success."

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), a Dow 30 company, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving 53 million customers nationwide. Verizon Business operates one of the most expansive wholly-owned global IP networks. Verizon Telecom is deploying the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network to deliver the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services to customers. Based in New York, Verizon has a diverse workforce of more than 250,000 and generates annual consolidated operating revenues of approximately $90 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.