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Sprint Selects the Lone Stranger

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BVK/Meka Tops Telco's 3 Roster Agencies for Hispanic Business
ATLANTA-BVK/Meka of Miami, the only shop in the final phase of the search for a Hispanic agency for Sprint PCS with no connection to the company, was awarded the $8 million advertising account.
"We got a call from the client late one afternoon," said agency managing officer Manny Machado.
"We felt they had a track record for delivering to our market," said Sprint representative Tom Murphy. "We felt they could help us communicate to those markets."
The other contenders making the final round of presentations for the account consolidation included CreatAbility in Coral Gables, Fla. (which handles Sprint PCS in South Florida and New York); Bromley, Aguilar & Associates of San Antonio (which provides Hispanic advertising and public relations for the client's long-distance services); and Dieste & Partners in Dallas (the Latino agency for Radio Shack, Tandy Corp.'s consumer electronics retail chain that is a major reseller of Sprint products). BVK/Meka, however, did come to the pitch armed with its MCI experience, though that client was not on the agency's roster when it was asked to pursue Sprint.
"The told us a couple of things about why we got the business," said Machado. "Our corporate culture was very similar to theirs, and they were impressed that we have been through a merger (The Meka Group was acquired by BVK of Milwaukee in 1998) but managed to keep our autonomy."
Officials with the agency spent last week with their new client. Additional meetings are scheduled this week.
Machado said there is no definite date for when the first BVK/Meka work will hit the marketplace. He projected new advertising would appear toward the end of summer.
"In today's Hispanic environment you have to seek a universal message, but you also have to localize it," he said. "Sometimes certain segments can be ignored if you're not careful."
BVK/Meka will be working with Sprint PCS' agency of record, Publicis Hal Riney & Partners in San Francisco. The client currently offers its PCS service in 280 markets across the country. ƒ