Dialpad Partners With a.k.a. in Customer ‘War’

The online long-distance service Dialpad has tapped a.k.a. Euro RSCG for a new ad campaign likely to reach $20 million in billings.

The decision to cut ties with Citron Haligman Bedecarré, its former shop, and bring in a new agency came after several key management changes at Dialpad.

Roger Wood, the company’s svp of marketing, said the new campaign will trumpet Dialpad’s convenience and assure consumers that the service is quick and easy to use. The campaign will launch in the first quarter of 2001.

A Citron source said the agency parted amicably with the client and had been anticipating a change with the arrival of new management.

For their part, Dialpad officials said they expect the change in shops will help them compete better with younger telecommunications companies. Wood added that competitive pressures were responsible for the agency switch.

“There’s a new war on for customers, brand image and corporate positioning among telecom and communications service providers,” said Wood.

Agency officials at a.k.a. said past experience will help them craft effective ads. One agency partner, for example, previously worked with MCI.

“We’ve spent much of our careers in the telecom wars of the 1980s and 1990s, and we couldn’t be more prepared or excited to get back,” said Michael Kantrow, a managing partner at a.k.a.

“We needed an agency partner with the right mix of experience: strong brand focus, an integrated approach, a strong international network and incredible passion for this category,” Wood added.

Dialpad offers users a range of PC-to-phone and PC-to-PC communication options. Consumers can make calls with the service after completing an online registration form. The service is designed to let callers contact any phone in the United States or any Dialpad user’s computer worldwide.