Former GroupM North America chief Brian Lesser will run the newly consolidated advanced advertising division

Altice USA and Frontier Communications are the first announced addressable advertising clients for Xandr, AT&T’s newly formed advertising unit consolidating AT&T’s advanced TV business, AT&T AdWorks, its data and analytics business, as well as the newly acquired ad tech company AppNexus.

Xandr encompasses all aspects of the existing AT&T advertising & analytics businesses and will be run by Brian Lesser, the former GroupM North America chief who was recruited over to AT&T last year.

Related: AT&T Hires GroupM's Lesser to Run New Ad Business

“Xandr is a name that draws inspiration from AT&T’s rich history, including its founder Alexander Graham Bell, while imagining how to innovate and solve new challenges for the future of advertising,” Lesser said, in a statement.

Under the agreements with Altice USA and Frontier, Xandr will aggregate and sell the telecom companies’ national addressable advertising inventory. Xandr will also collaborate with Altice’s advanced advertising division, a4, in an effort to help it expand its addressable advertising capabilities.

The announcement was made from the Relevance Conference in Santa Barbara, Calif., an industry event produced by Xandr.

Touting around “170 million direct-to-consumer” relationships across wireless, video and broadband, AT&T CEO Randall Stephens used September’s Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference to outline a strategy in which AT&T will try to take a piece of the sizable advanced advertising market share controlled by Silicon Valley giants Google and Facebook.

“Advertising models will be very, very important," Stephens said. “We think we have the elements that are gonna be required to stand up a very impressive advertising business.” 

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