For the record…

Westel long-distancePublicly owned Westel Telecommunications of Vancouver will launch a new long-distance phone service in b.c. on March 31.Colin Macrae, Westel's corporate communications officer, says the firm, which is a subsidiary of BC Rail, a provincial Crown corporation, will initially target...

Westel long-distance

Publicly owned Westel Telecommunications of Vancouver will launch a new long-distance phone service in b.c. on March 31.

Colin Macrae, Westel’s corporate communications officer, says the firm, which is a subsidiary of BC Rail, a provincial Crown corporation, will initially target small- and medium-sized companies.

Macrae adds that in the third or fourth quarter of the year, Westel will expand into the consumer long-distance market.

Currently, BC Tel, which lost its monopoly on b.c.’s long-distance market in 1992, takes in the vast majority of the $1.2-billion b.c. residents spend annually on long-distance calls.

But Macrae says Westel hopes to capture 5% of that total by 1997.

The Vancouver office of J. Walter Thompson is creating a tv and print campaign to support the product launch.

Camera sales up: Group

Canadian camera sales (not including video cameras) were up 3.5% in 1993 compared with 1992, according to the Canadian Photo Video Trade Association.

Increasing consumer demand for less expensive, easier-to-use cameras led to a rise of 27% in sales of fixed-focus motorized models.

The association says Canadians took more than 1.1 billion photos last year.

Precisioncraft value-added

Precisioncraft, a leading manufacturer of acrylic promotional products, has launched a value-added marketing program.

Partners to Profit comprises nine pre-packaged promotions intended for use by participating distributors in the marketing of various promotional products.

The promotions are geared to events and activities – such as environmental awareness, new product launches and trade shows – that distributors are frequently asked to support by clients.

In the environmental awareness promotion, for example, a recyclable paper box is used to package a coffee mug. The box is designed to be reused for such purposes as holding pens or computer disks.

Brad Jandrew, marketing manager with Precisioncraft, says Partners to Profit marks the company’s first experiment with a broad-based promotion program to support its products.

Jandrew says Partners to Profit changes the ‘selling process from a purely product orientation to a value-added approach geared to the customers’ specific needs.’

Other Precisioncraft products include ice scrapers, key chains, rulers and licence plate holders.

Sega plans Genesis aid

Sega has announced plans to introduce an accessory that will nearly double the performance of its 16-bit Sega Genesis video-game machine to that of a 32-bit player.

The new Genesis Super 32X hardware package, slated to begin shipping in the fall, will enable 16-bit Sega Genesis players to perform some, but not all, of the functions Sega promises will ultimately be delivered on its top-secret ‘Saturn’ platform.

Saturn is a 32-bit machine Sega has had in development for some time.

Sega has said Genesis Super 32X will retail for $149 in the u.s., making it about one-third the cost of 3DO’s Interactive Multiplayer, which retails for US$499.

Although no software titles for Genesis Super 32X have been announced yet, Sega says it has 30 in development and expects licensees to add a similar number in the first year.