Sprint Positioning: Helping Customers Get More Out of Life

NEW YORK Sprint will be the “master brand” name for the combined Sprint and Nextel Communications, although the Nextel name will be used to brand business-directed services, the companies said last week. The combined company will position itself as having the broadest range of “best-in-breed” offerings, said Mark Schweitzer, svp of marketing for Nextel and designated CMO for the merged entity. He further described the strategy as, “Get more out of your work life, get more out of your personal life. Anywhere. Anytime.” Omnicom’s TBWA\Chiat\Day in New York—Nextel’s lead shop—is leading the launch effort, which will break after the merger is finalized, possibly as soon as August.

$50 Mil. Dyson Holds Chemistry Checks With 8 Contenders

Executives from vacuum company Dyson have begun initial meetings with shops hoping to land advertising duties on its $50 million account, the client confirmed. Meetings began two weeks ago and will continue this week. Among those presenting credentials to the client are Omnicom’s Merkley + Partners and TBWA\Chiat\Day; WPP’s Berlin Cameron/Red Cell; and independent M&C Saatchi, all in New York, sources said. Publicis’ Fallon in Minneapolis and the company split earlier this month over what agency and client reps termed strategic differences. Chicago-based Dyson spent about $50 million on ads in 2004 and about $20 million through April this year, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

A Handful of Shops to Pitch $60-80 Mil. Lipitor Account

NEW YORK A short-list of as many as five agencies will pitch for direct-to-consumer creative duties on Pfizer’s Lipitor, which Omnicom’s Merkley + Partners has handled since 2000, sources said. Merkley is defending and the list is believed to include both roster and non-roster shops. Billings are estimated at $60-80 million. A Pfizer rep confirmed the review, but declined to identify the participants, which sources expect to be briefed this week.

Return Customers Draw Rivals To In-Cinema Advertising

LOS ANGELES Advertising revenue in cinemas is up 23 percent over last year to $438 million, according to a report out today by the Cinema Advertising Council, whose members represent over three-quarters of the nation’s screens and 89 percent of ad revenue. Off-screen ads (in-lobby and related promotions) jumped 41 percent to $64 million. Matthew Kearney, CAC president and chairman, said the industry was following a “classic start-up pattern.” The first wave of cinema advertisers returned in 2004, inspiring competitors to get in the game. Kearney said the fastest growth was in the health and beauty, consumer electronics and financial services categories.

Dunkin’ Donuts to Mail RFPs On $1-2 Mil. PR Account

BOSTON Dunkin’ Donuts said it would send out requests for proposals this week to at least eight public relations agencies to handle its $1-2 million national PR business, the Canton, Mass.-based client confirmed. Omnicom’s Fleishman-Hillard, the incumbent, could not be reached. Dunkin’ Donuts is seeking a New York-based firm with strong brand-building experience. A decision is due in August.

50 Cent Plays in the Street in Mcgarrybowen’s Rbk Ads

NEW YORK Reebok continues to meld sports with music in a campaign for the Gxt II cross-trainer that shows rapper 50 Cent playing street sports with pro athletes. A TV spot by New York independent mcgarrybowen shows the rapper playing stickball with Boston Red Sox slugger Manny Ramirez, catching a pass from Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb and training on a rooftop with boxer Ronald “Winky” Wright. The spot, which breaks tomorrow, is set to 50 Cent’s single In My Hood. Radio ads and a mini-site will also support the shoe, the latest in the G Unit Collection by Rbk. Spending for the effort was not disclosed.

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