LCI Rates 6 For Cards

LCI International in McLean, Va., heard presentations last week from six Washington, D.C-area agencies vying for the long-distance company’s prepaid phone card account, sources said.
The assignment is estimated at $5 million.
Via the Advertising Agency Register in New York, LCI sent questionnaires to undisclosed shops last month [Ad-week, Eastern, March 23]. At that time, client vice president of enhanced services Mark Welton confirmed LCI was working with AAR, but said there were no immediate plans to hire an agency.
After contacting 23 agencies in New York and the mid-Atlantic area, LCI decided to focus on local shops.
Sources said those pitching the prepaid card business last week included: Virginia agencies Demaine Vickers in Alexandria, E. James White in Herndon and Laughlin Marinaccio & Owens in Arlington, plus Goldberg.Marchesano.Partners in Washington, D.C. Two other agencies, perhaps in Baltimore, also pitched.
The six agencies were given a marketing exercise involving the launch of a fictitious product, said one source. A decision is expected this week.
Agency executives either declined comment or could not be reached. Welton did not return calls by press time.
Ron Foth Advertising in Columbus, Ohio, is LCI’s agency of record. It is believed Foth did not compete for this assignment.
The telco spent $6 million on ads in 1997, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
LCI offers residential and commercial services including domestic and international long-distance and Internet access.–with Sloane Lucas, Hank Kim and Andrew McMains