Sprint call imminent

Sprint Canada, a long-distance reseller, says it expects to announce a new agency late this month.Last month, the telecommunications company, previously known as Call-Net Telecommunications, split with its creative agency, Geoffrey B. Roche & Partners, Toronto after a year.Media placement has...

Sprint Canada, a long-distance reseller, says it expects to announce a new agency late this month.

Last month, the telecommunications company, previously known as Call-Net Telecommunications, split with its creative agency, Geoffrey B. Roche & Partners, Toronto after a year.

Media placement has been handled by Murtagh Thom, although Juri Koor, Sprint chief executive officer, says only one flight of tv spots and one major newspaper buy has been used by the company in that time.

Will pick up

Koor says advertising activity will pick up later this year, and adds the budget, $500,000 a year ago, will be substantially increased.

Last spring, Call-Net hired Geoffrey B. Roche. Shortly thereafter, u.s.-based Sprint bought 25% of Call-Net and it was renamed Sprint.

Koor says the company has changed radically since the Sprint purchase, hence its advertising needs have changed.

Right now, the core of Sprint Canada’s business is the small- to medium-sized business market.

Backed by its u.s. parent, Sprint Canada now has the technology to move into the residential and large business markets.

The residential launch is expected this summer, although Koor says he is now re-evaluating the timing.

He says another bonus from the u.s. is spokesperson Candice Bergen, star of the popular tv sitcom Murphy Brown.

While Koor wants some original Canadian creative, he also wants to leverage the brand awareness created by Sprint with Bergen, which, he says, is high in Canada due to spillover from u.s. tv stations.