Verizon Selects Zenithmedia and Draft Worldwide, Working Together as Media Buying Agency of Record

NEW YORK — Verizon has selected Zenithmedia, Inc. and Draft Worldwide to handle its advertising media buying assignment. The two companies will work jointly to handle integrated mass market and direct response media buying responsibilities for Verizon Communications, Verizon Wireless and Verizon Information Services.

"This selection enables all Verizon business units to integrate their media buying nationwide through a 'Best-In-Class' provider," said Bill McCarron, Verizon vice president for Media Services. " It also allows Verizon to take advantage of our position in the marketplace as the largest local telecommunications provider in the U.S. and to expand our efforts into integrated media opportunities."

Terms of the contract were not announced.

Zenith/Draft will begin handling first-quarter 2001 buying for Verizon's corporate, wireless and information services advertising, including buys for the general business, consumer and enterprise lines of business.

"The consolidation of media buying affords the wireless operation a single buying source at both the regional and national levels, allowing for unparalleled efficiencies and leverage in the marketplace, while ensuring continuity of media strategies at all levels," said Fred Shaw, Verizon Wireless director of Media Services.

"We are thrilled that Verizon Communications has entrusted us with its consolidated media buying across the nation," said Wendy Marquardt, president of the joint venture. "The opportunity to work in partnership with the number one provider of wireless and local telecommunications is both energizing and exciting. Our Zenith/Draft joint venture has the scale, scope, national reach and, most important -- a great team -- to deliver the full complement of customized and reliable service that Verizon demands."

Verizon's McCarron said, "Efficiency through teamwork and technology is at the heart of this Zenith/Draft partnership. Our expectation is that Zenith/Draft will be a good match for Verizon's media buying needs, and that the Verizon brand will be strengthened through this cooperation."

Atlanta-based Blueprint Communications assisted Verizon in the search.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), formed by the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE, is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with more than 101 million access line equivalents and more than 26 million wireless customers. A Fortune 10 company with more than 260,000 employees and approximately $60 billion in 1999 revenues, Verizon's global presence extends to 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit