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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

May 2, 2006 at 10:20 AM

Cingular to take AT&T name

When SBC Communications, part owner of Cingular Wireless, announced it was buying AT&T, it said it would be renaming the wireless services, too — back to the old AT&T Wireless name.

If you can remember, AT&T Wireless was the Redmond-based company started by Craig McCaw as McCaw Cellular Communications. AT&T Wireless was then acquaired by Cingular for $41 billion in late 2004.

Advertising Age reported today that replacing the orange jack for the “stodgy moniker” AT&T Wireless could be a huge mistake.

“Such a move could conjure up images of the rotary dial and cause so much confusion that experts estimate it may take another $2 billion in marketing expenses to explain the changes to consumers,” Advertising Age said.

The article went on to say that AT&T, SBC or Cingular (it’s all the same now) argued that the $4 billion spent building Cingular won’t be wasted because it has “created a brand that has led to a customer base which is the largest in the U.S.,” according to a spokesperson. The company also claims in the story that the single brand for all AT&T services will “eliminate customer confusion and make a much more elegant solution.”

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