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March 17, 2003

AT&T Promotes the Importance of Communication With 'Talk Is Good' Advertising Campaign

From: PR Newswire - 17 Mar 2003

New Advertising Underscores Company's Commitment To Community and the Art of Conversation

MORRISTOWN, N.J., March 17 /PRNewswire/ -- AT&T today introduced its latest integrated communications campaign, "Talk is Good," which emphasizes the company's dedication to improving the way customers communicate. The campaign -- highlighting the company's platform of providing consumers with more than just minutes, but moments -- launches tonight on television in select major markets, and will be integrated into AT&T's ongoing communications supported across multiple channels.

The ads, which promote the company's portfolio of communications services, are customized for each market in which they run. This new effort was created by AT&T's advertising agency of record, New York City-based Young & Rubicam, which designed it to focus on what consumers find most important to talk about in their lives. Each ad is based on extensive, qualitative and quantitative research to reflect real local market data surrounding consumers' issues, concerns, thoughts and feelings present within communities today.

"Our findings confirmed that consumers are communicating more than ever before," said Cathy Constable, AT&T Consumer's vice president of marketing services. "Of course, along with that increase, consumers are receiving more than their fair share of unwanted messages and clutter. This effort underscores that key learning: people don't necessarily want to communicate more, but better. 'Talk is Good' invites consumers to keep an open dialogue with the most important people in their lives."

"When people talk about the things that matter, ideas grow, relationships deepen and life moves forward," commented Ann Hayden, executive creative director, Y&R Advertising, New York. "Which is why AT&T is, and has always been committed to the idea of better communication, as opposed to simply more communication."

Talking the Talk

The communications initiative is multi-dimensional and multi-cultural with four, area-specific 30- and 60-second television spots forming the communications platform of the campaign. Additionally, as AT&T is dedicated to reaching diverse audiences, it has additionally created companion campaigns in Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean and Chinese, which will begin running later this month.

The initial ads focus on AT&T's residential local, long distance, and recently introduced video relay services. They feature colored screen backgrounds transitioning from one to the next with each slate containing impactful text messages that highlight 'topics of the moment' for that local area, including such issues as drilling in Lake Erie, tuition discounts, the smoking ban and even closing public water fountains.

The long distance ads include the message, "Whether you have a lot to say about what's going on, or a little, we have a long distance plan that fits," while the local spots include the message, "Local issues may be a bit complicated, but how you talk about them doesn't have to be. Introducing simplified calling from AT&T." Both close with the company's positioning, "Talk is Good. AT&T." The spots feature music from contemporary artists who sing, "Thank you for Hearing me," "Home," "Your Town," and "Ohio."

An additional spot is geared toward deaf and hard of hearing consumers, to highlight the company's video relay service for those individuals who are more comfortable communicating in America Sign Language. The advertisement, like the others, contains onscreen messages that fade in and out to the next, but with no music overlay, with the text highlighting questions of love, hate, need, and yearning, closing with, "These don't have to be heard with ears to be felt with the heart...Introducing AT&T Video Relay Service in America Sign Language.... Because we all have our own way of talking. Talk is Good."

The advertisements will be running in key areas including Baltimore, MD, Washington, DC, West Virginia (Charleston-Huntington and Clarksburg-Westin), Michigan (Grand Rapids and Lansing), Ohio (Dayton and Toledo) and California (Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento, San Francisco).

As current events and issues change in local markets, AT&T plans to dynamically update the ads on an ongoing basis. In addition, the company will be conducting consumer polls online to identify new topics of discussion.

About AT&T

AT&T ( ) is among the premier voice, video and data communications companies in the world, serving businesses, consumers, and government. The company runs the largest, most sophisticated communications network in the U.S., backed by the research and development capabilities of AT&T Labs. A leading supplier of data, Internet and managed services for the public and private sectors, AT&T offers outsourcing and consulting to large businesses and government. The company is a market leader in local, long distance and Internet services, as well as transaction-based services like prepaid cards, collect calling and directory assistance. With approximately $37 billion of revenue, AT&T has relationships with about 50 million consumers and four million business customers, who depend on AT&T for high-quality communications. AT&T has garnered several awards for outstanding performance and customer service.

About Young & Rubicam

Young & Rubicam Inc. is a world leader in commercial communications, a network of preeminent companies in advertising, perception management and public relations, brand identity and design consultancy, database marketing and customer relations management and health care communications. Headquartered in New York, Young & Rubicam ranks among the world's leading consolidated marketing communications companies, and is a member of the WPP Group.
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