Grey/HYPN take on Sprint acct.

Sprint Canada has chosen Grey Canada as the ad agency to launch it into the residential and large business markets this year.The media planning and buying assignment has gone to Harrison Young Pesonen & Newell.The telecommunications company, which started as Call-Net...

Sprint Canada has chosen Grey Canada as the ad agency to launch it into the residential and large business markets this year.

The media planning and buying assignment has gone to Harrison Young Pesonen & Newell.

The telecommunications company, which started as Call-Net Communications in 1986, will substantially increase its advertising budget – $500,000 a year ago – as it moves into new areas.

Last year, Sprint U.S. bought 25% of the company and it was renamed Sprint Canada.

Its core business has been small-to-medium-sized business, but the affiliation with the u.s. company has provided Sprint Canada with the technology needed to become a competitor in the residential and large business long-distance markets.

Change of direction

Last month, the company split with its creative agency of a year, Geoffrey B. Roche & Partners of Toronto, saying that changes in the company this past year demanded a change in advertising direction.

Media placement

Media placement had previously been handled by Murtagh Thom Media of Toronto.

In the u.s., Grey Advertising in New York handles the US$40 million business-to-business account, while J. Walter Thompson, San Francisco has the US$80-million consumer assignment.

u.s. advertising features spokesperson Candice Bergen, start of the popular tv sitcom, Murphy Brown.

Juri Koor, Sprint Canada chief executive officer, says while there will be some original Canadian creative, he also wants to leverage the brand awareness created by Sprint with Bergen, which is high in Canada due to spillover from u.s. tv stations.

In 1993, Sprint Canada reported revenues of nearly $134 million.

Sprint Canada’s parent company, Call-Net Enterprises, is a Canadian-owned and -managed company publicly traded on the Toronto and Montreal stock exchanges.