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Leap Poised to Name Butler

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LOS ANGELES Leap Wireless International is in late-stage negotiations to award creative and media duties for its Cricket Communica-
tions subsidiary to Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners, the client confirmed.

The San Diego-based company has said it will spend $20-25 million on ads for Cricket.

Butler, Shine, an independent agency in Sausalito, Calif., overcame Interpublic Group shop Suissa Miller in Los Angeles and independent Bernstein-Rein in Kansas City, Mo., in the final round of a review. The four-year incumbent, the Johnson Group in Chattanooga, Tenn., did not participate.

Representatives for Butler, Shine could not be reached.

Select Resources International in West Hollywood, Calif., led the review. The consultant declined comment.

Leap was spun off from Qualcomm in 1998 and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April. Its Cricket subsidiary offers unlimited flat-rate local calling and has more than 1.5 million customers in 20 states.