B&J Telecard kicks off with charity promo

B&J Telecard, a small New Jersey-based company specializing in the development of long-distance calling card promotions, is looking north to the Canadian market.Late last year, the firm, which buys telephone time from licensed long-distance carriers, established a Toronto office under the...

B&J Telecard, a small New Jersey-based company specializing in the development of long-distance calling card promotions, is looking north to the Canadian market.

Late last year, the firm, which buys telephone time from licensed long-distance carriers, established a Toronto office under the name B&J Telecard Canada.

Next month, it will unveil its first promotion, a charity fundraising program tied to a special Toronto screening of the film Henry & Verlin.

Henry & Verlin, which was shown in Toronto last fall at the Toronto International Film Festival, features two mentally handicapped characters.

Parents for Giant Steps/Toronto and Christian Children’s Fund Canada, two not-for-profit organizations involved in sponsoring the screening, will sell calling cards at the event, with 20% of the proceeds going to their respective charities.

The cards, each containing 20 minutes’ worth of long-distance calling in Canada, will sell for $20 apiece.

Over the past year, b&j has run several charity fundraising promotions in the u.s., but Jeff Rodman, the promotion firm’s vice-president of international marketing, says his strategy is to move into the more lucrative commercial promotions side of the business.

Rodman says charity promotions generate little profit, since not-for-profit organizations tend to be small and distribute relatively few cards.

Parents for Giant Steps, for example, has ordered only 500 cards, Christian Children’s Fund, 100 cards.

Major corporations, conversely, have the resources to order hundreds of thousands, and even millions, of cards to be given away in national promotions.

Rodman says b&j is close to signing deals for several commercial calling card promotions, including at least one tentatively slated for February.

But he declines to reveal his client list for competitive reasons.