KANSAS CITY, MO. – Aiming to be a front-runner in interactive communications, Sprint is setting up a new promotional division called ‘Phone Magic,’ and plans to arm it with an agency for the future.
A number of Kansas City’s major agencies are believed to be pitching the business, which ultimately could represent substantial billings, although none would comment about possible involvement. Among the contenders are believed to be Bernstein-Rein, Valentine-Radford, Barkley & Evergreen and NKH&W, which already handles some Sprint business on a project basis. J. Walter Thompson/S.F. is Sprint’s national agency.
Already the company has dabbled in marketing its 800- and 900-number services for interactive purposes. In a couple of markets earlier this fall, for example, its service was used for contests featuring National Football League stars. Sprint provided the phone number, where contestants could call to try and answer questions about various football players and win prizes.
Insiders say that an advertising agency may be used for a dual purpose when the system gets up and running. One part of the program would be based on selling the program to potential business customers. Ads could also be aimed at educating consumers to join in on the action.
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