Big ad campaign to usher in new AT&T

The reborn, postmerger Ma Bell gets its branding in order as competition heats up among telecom and cable companies.

AT&T is set to rock in the new year with a massive ad campaign toasting the company's postmerger rebirth.

The telecommunications giant plans to launch the first national television spot in a yearlong campaign during "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve 2006" and other TV specials Saturday night. Subsequent ads will be deployed across a wide variety of media, including magazines, newspapers, billboards, cable TV and online venues.

The branding campaign will center on a new tagline--"Your world. Delivered."--as well as the song "All Around the World" by British rockers Oasis. No dollar value was given for the advertising barrage.

AT&T's heritage stretches back to the 19th century and the earliest days of the telephone and the telegraph--the two T's in its name. But Ma Bell never fully recovered from its breakup into several so-called Baby Bells in the 1980s and this year was acquired by one of those regional companies, SBC Communications.

Although SBC had market momentum on its side, it recognized the nationwide and global value of the AT&T brand and adopted that as the name for the company born of the $16.9 billion merger.

The venerable brand name will be just one part of the company's overall efforts to keep pace in a frantic race for dominance among telecom and cable TV providers. A range of new technologies from Internet telephony and wireless communications to on-demand television is stirring up an unprecedented market shake-up.

"The new AT&T will lead the industry in delivering the next generation of integrated solutions that deliver on the promise of virtually anywhere, anytime connectivity," CEO Edward Whitacre Jr. said in a statement Thursday.

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