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Ant Farm Connects With Cingular

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Cingular Wireless has selected Ant Farm Interactive to develop and execute its online customer relationship management strategy.

The Atlanta shop outperformed BBDO's @tmosphere and DotGlu, the interactive arm of Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, both in New York, and 360i.com here. The review was conducted by Wanamaker Associates in Atlanta.

Billings are undisclosed.

"We were looking for a firm to provide a fun and creative way for us to engage our customers," said Jane Ratliff, customer communications director at the Atlanta-based client. "Ant Farm Interactive has a history of highly creative executions."

According to Melissa Honabach, chief operating officer at AFI, one challenge involves combating "churn." "Getting customers is only half the battle," she said. "It's more profitable to keep existing customers."

Ant Farm's strategy centers around Cingular's theme of self-expression. "Our task is to create a community," said Honabach. "You do this by speaking as directly as you can."

She continued,"We create things people can play with, like screen savers and games, and collect data in an unobtrusive way that allows us to infer what we need."

Ant Farm's initial work is expected by the end of June.