AT&T's Wendy Clark Takes Some Q&As

Here are the A's:

No waffling, lots of clarity helped AT&T through the metamorphoses, says the company's Wendy Clark, SVP/advertising. Nine mergers over the years was a bunch of risk taking. When her team is exhausted, she tells them,  If you want to work for a loser, you'll find a slower pace. In retaking the AT&T name in 2005, says Clark, we wondered about the youth audience. Their association with AT&T was neutral. So we asked them, here's an MP3 player ... if AT&T brought this to you, would you use it? Of course they were down with that, dude! She didn't really say that but in essence she did.

Youth ask what's in it for me? says Clark. If we can bring out relevant products and services, there's no barrier to what AT&T could do.

The company had to ask its agencies to come together like never before. Our agencies set aside their individual needs and put AT&T as their goal. It's been really successful, she says.

As far as reflecting the brand out in the marketplace, Clark says AT&T spent time with HR to make sure its employees were on board and asked for their feedback. It involved them in the process, she says. "We wove it in and showed them how they made a difference. They're invested."

I believe this is a human business. Without the talent, we'd be nowhere. We try to take the extra steps to say thank you, be good partners. When we go back to the office, we take it off e-mail, collaborate. Make the conversation human. Bring it back to where the talent is. It comes from all of our minds."

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