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BellSouth Cuts Prices, Raises Ad Profile

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ATLANTA BellSouth launched a new ad campaign this week to promote price changes in its high-speed Internet service, the company said.

The work encompasses television and radio spots, newspaper ads, outdoor, Internet and direct mail. Messages targeting Hispanic and African-American consumers are part of the media mix. The ads will run in 30 markets throughout the Atlanta company's nine-state service area through the fall, BellSouth said.

Spending was not disclosed, but the company said it is the largest single campaign since 2002, when it advertised its entry into the long-distance service market.

Grey in Atlanta and New York created and produced the general-market campaign. The Miami office of Publicis Groupe's Bromley did the Hispanic advertising, and independent Matlock Advertising in Atlanta was responsible for the African-American ads.

The company launched the campaign to introduce changes in the way it prices DSL Internet service. Previously, BellSouth had 21 different prices on the service, depending on which of the firm's other services the customer bought. Now, there are only three prices, depending on the speed of the connection, beginning at $24.95 a month for 256Kbps and topping at $42.95 per month for 3Mbps.

"The advertising campaign is key to conveying that BellSouth now offers the same affordable rate for high-speed Internet every month, without the pricing gimmicks that are prevalent in many broadband offers today," said Keith Cowan, president of marketing and product management for the company.