AT&T foresees a new kind of agency partnership

Geoffrey Precourt

In 2009, Esther Lee left the agency business for a pivotal position at one of the world's leading brands.

At Euro RSCG – now Havas Worldwide – she had served as ceo/North America and president/global brands. In her new capacity as AT&T's svp/brand marketing, advertising and sponsorship, she took on full responsibility for the organization's creative and media strategy.

Esther Lee
Photo credit: Brian McCarthy/Corporate Close Ups

In 2013, the company spent $1.65 billion on measured media, according to research firm Nielsen. But as impressive as that dollar volume might be, the most formidable challenge for the former agency chief was not how much to invest in marketing, but how to do so quickly and intelligently – especially as the constant redefinition of the telecoms category demanded agility (for its services) and consistency (for its brand equity).