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AT&T Touts Repositioned San Fran Interconnect

AT&T Media Services this week will announce the repositioning of its San Francisco interconnect by touting "PrecisionCast," the moniker for its enhanced research capabilities.

In new advertising and promotional materials, the Bay Area interconnect describes PrecisionCast as "SuperCharged Television Advertising" and "Powered by ADcom."

"It's less a rebranding than a repositioning," said AT&T Media Services San Francisco Bay Area vice president and general manager Fred Yeries last week. The MSO has trademarked the PrecisionCast name, he noted.

ADcom Information Services Inc. executive vice president of sales Dick Spooner described his research firm's inclusion in the promotional materials as akin to the "Intel inside" advertising in the computer field.

Yeries described PrecisionCast — the formal promotion of which kicks off June 5 — as "a new system to manipulate ADcom data for our clients."

"PrecisionCast will make our schedules [for clients] more targeted and more effective than ever," he said. "This will reinvigorate cable advertising in this market, and this is definitely the time to do it."

The move was not inspired by Los Angeles interconnect Adlink's positioning as "Targeted TV," said Yeries.

ADcom has long called attention to its position as the only research company with the ability to supply metered household viewing statistics cross referenced with product-consumption information.

According to Yeries, the Bay Area interconnect — which reaches nearly 1.7 million cable households — sells to advertisers in 11 main zones in the DMA, as well as 23 sub-zones. With PrecisionCast data, it can now pinpoint the most efficient cable networks, programs and dayparts for specific advertisers' needs, he said.

Initially, ads in trade publications and the interconnect's avails will make business decisionmakers aware of the sales tool, Yeries said. He later plans to promote PrecisionCast via its own Web site, as well as through the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. Subsequently, broader business publications and direct mail may become part of the campaign.

A 30-page manual will help the interconnect's account executives explain PrecisionCast to the advertising community, Yeries said.

In 1998, AT&T Broadband — then known as Tele-Communications Inc. — became the second MSO, to order local set-meter cable ratings from ADcom. Continental Cablevision (later MediaOne Group Inc.), was its first client. When MediaOne was acquired by AT&T, it became ADcom's sole subscriber.

The MSO uses ADcom ratings for the San Francisco, Dallas/Fort Worth and Jacksonville, Fla., DMAs.

"ADcom has been extremely well-received by the ad community, so much so we felt we could do more with this sales tool for our clients," Yeries said.

The MSO aims to enhance the media planning and buying process by calling attention to product-usage data available from ADcom, as well as its local television and cable audience data, he said.

ADcom allows the Bay Area interconnect to offer a profile of the consumer and his or her previous buying behavior. For example, it could point out the other products that an upscale Lexus owner buys, he said.

ADcom's sample size in San Francisco now stands at 1,600 homes, Yeries said.

In San Francisco, the product-usage data comes from the researcher's telephone surveys of 7,500 households.

ADcom said it now has signed up 10 ad agencies for its local ratings reports.