Internet Phone Provider Shops $50 Mil. Account

Net2Phone, a company that offers telephone service over the Net, is talking to agencies about its global ad business, the client confirmed. The size of the account was not disclosed, but sources said spending would be about $50 million.
Net2Phone, based in Hackensack, N.J., a unit of IDT, is available in several countries and wants an international ad campaign, said Jonathan Reich, the client’s evp of corporate development and marketing. Investors in the company include AT&T, British Telecommunications and Liberty Media Group.
“They’re looking for an international, multimedia campaign focusing on their Net2Phone and Net2-Phone Direct products,” said one source. “Internet telephony is becoming big business. It looks like Net2Phone is the leading brand in this category.”
The company expects to promote “low-cost, high-quality telephony and value-added communications services” in its ads, Reich said.
Net2Phone’s current domestic ad efforts were done in-house and by agencies working on a project basis.
A summer promotion, from Margeotes/Fertitta + Partners, here, uses a New Jersey beachfront to promote Net2Phone hardware and software products.
A recent TV spot pokes fun at the pitfalls of communicating via e-mail. A 20-something woman trying to reconcile with an ex-boyfriend types the message, “Now I realize I really lice you.” To find out what she really means, he calls her via Net2Phone. The tagline: “It’s how to really talk online.” K