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Charter Hires Leslie for the Carolinas

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ATLANTA The Leslie Agency said it has been retained to handle marketing for Charter Communications' operations in North and South Carolina. The account is valued at $2-3 million.

The Greenville, S.C., shop will provide strategic planning, media planning and buying, public relations and diversity marketing services. Some print creative via area newspapers is also in the mix.

The broadband communications company currently serves six million customers in 40 states; some half-million customers live in the Carolinas.

"We are quickly digging down and revealing more narrowly defined profiles of Charter's customer base as well as their primary prospects," said Leslie president and CEO Carlos Jimenez. "Our goal is to help them make better choices about their marketing and media mixes, as well as bring a more strategic approach to their message."

Charter, headquartered in St. Louis, spent $7 million in measured media in 2001 and $6 million from January to October 2002, per CMR.

The financially troubled client split from Chicago-based incumbent Cramer-Krasselt in January. C-K won the account, then estimated at $15-20 million, in September 2001.

Charter will continue to use roster shops including Omnicom's Tequila and The Hughes Group in St. Louis.

A national campaign for Charter's high-speed Internet service uses comedian Dan Ackroyd. It is unclear if the year-old campaign will be phased out as the company continues to tap regional agencies.